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Category Archive for 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist'

We happened to read and discuss The Reluctant Fundamentalist in one of the most stressful, anxiety-wrought, and confusing months of my life. The ambiguity of this book, the myriad possible interpretations, my own growing uncertainty, and the disaster that was my oral presentation only added to the crushing self-doubt that I was allowing to run […]

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As we discussed in class, Changez from The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Khan from The Submission share several characteristics as they explore their identity in the two novels. At the beginning of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Changez is not much of a conformist. While he wants to fit in at Princeton, he recognizes that his exoticism gives him an advantage,”…the […]

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About all of it, and broadly, because that is how I’ve been thinking about it: in broad terms. And think about it I certainly have. In fact — and I do not mean this in any hard core academic sense (though maybe I should profess otherwise) — I’ve thought and spoken about this class far […]

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In the process of writing my final blog post, I came across something interesting. Thanks, as usual, to the wonders of the internet, I found this. Yes, that is a film version of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, set for 2013. And yes, Kate Hudson is Erica. This is just one of those things that I had […]

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… how many times I said the word “sex” during my presentation.  Also, the words “vulnerable” and “um.” I’ve seldom in my life felt as preachy as I did during my presentation yesterday. I realized later that this is because I feel very strongly about what I was evaluating. Now, instead of continuing to talk […]

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I really enjoyed the discussion we had on the similarities between the two books and it is interesting to me to see how The Reluctant Fundamentalist and The Fall are representative of the notion of  “INTERTEXUALITY.” What is “INTERTEXTUALITY?” INTERTEXTUALITY is a notion introduced by the linguist Julia Kristeva in the late sixties: In essays such […]

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Allegory, symbolism, and hidden meaning can sometimes leave a reader frustrated. We are curious as to why authors seemingly make their books difficult to understand. My oral report attempted to uncover some of the symbolism in the names of characters in The Reluctant Fundamentalist and reveal the possible allegory within the story. To recount, we […]

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Throughout The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, the main character Changez is often confronted with his own identity. Is he American because he lives in America, or does he just live there as a Pakistani man? After I finished the book, I was ulitimately frustrated along with him, but although my frustration was connected to […]

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Toward the end of class today, I mentioned the process of naturalization for citizenship, and how the term in itself is paradoxical, as there is nothing particularly “natural” about it. I was curious to find out how the word, then, came to be used, and my quick online search yielded the following. From the Online […]

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As discussed in class, The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a lot more engaging than Falling Man. Is this simply because The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a better narrative? Is it the style of writing? Is it the subject? I personally think that the reason we consider The Reluctant Fundamentalist better is not necessarily because Hamid is a […]

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“But surely it is the gist that matters; I am, after all, telling you a history, and in history, as I suspect you–an American–will agree, it is the thrust of one’s narrative that counts, not the accuracy of one’s details. Still I can assure you that everything I have told you thus far happened, for […]

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“Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance? Ah, I see I have alarmed you. Do no be frightened by my beard: I am a lover of America.” – Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist (Page 1) In The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, the American in the story is portrayed as the typical judgmental character. […]

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…that Changez and Erica both end their tales in much of the same position? Changez falls deeply into a form of love with Erica. Though throughout the novel it becomes clearer and clearer that Erica herself has fallen deeply in love with someone else; someone dead, Chris. In Erica’s mind Chris is very much so […]

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In many ways, Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a much easier read than Don DeLillo’s Falling Man. Hamid’s narrative goes down smoother; it is more engaging, more tantalizing, and more open.  The book is not long, nor is it mechanically complex.  The Reluctant Fundamentalist is an easy read. … Except that it isn’t.  I […]

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Friend or enemy?

Friend or enemy? One of the aspects of the novel that we discussed in class the other day was the importance of the tension between Changez the narrator and his interlocutor the American that creates a great suspense and a sense of insecurity. Are they just two random guys having tea in the Old Anarkali? […]

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In Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist the main character Changez’s monologue felt like he was having a conversation with you. Rather than feeling like the story was being told to you. By writing the book this way the reader feels like an insider rather than an outsider. The conversational manner by which Changez expresses his […]

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One of the reviews, by Philip Pullman, at the beginning of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, calls the novel a thriller. I found the comment interesting, because it probably  would have been the last thing I would have called the novel. Throughout the novel, Changez frequently calls attention to his guest’s gun holster, and at the end of […]

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It is interesting that Mohsin Hamid chose The Reluctant Fundamentalist as the title of his book. Changez’s identity crisis was brought up a few times in our discussion. I think the title really plays on the fact that Changez struggles to clearly define who he believes he truly is. Whether his love for America extends […]

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I have some thoughts with regard to what we discussed earlier in class today about the characters in The Reluctant Fundamentalist being stereotypical, especially the “American”. I believe that authors may use stereotypical characters for at least two reasons. 1) Using a stereotypical character to represent something. Perhaps the person whom Changez is addressing is […]

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