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The Reluctant Fundamentalist

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1 The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Chapter 9

2 Chapter 9 - Add to Vocab section: Changez tells of:
Visiting his family in Pakistan Returning to America, a changed man Visiting Erica at a clinic Add to Vocab section: desolate – bare, empty ministrations – support, aid ascetic – self-denying, abstaining idiosyncratic – characteristic, individual acclimatise – get used to a new environment

3 Conflicted Identity Living in America changes Changez's perception of his home: “I recall the Americaness of my own gaze when I returned to Lahore” (p140) “I was struck at first by how shabby our house appeared… it smacked of lowliness.” (p140-1) He had become the type of person he disliked: “the house had not changed in my absence. I had changed; I was looking about me with the eyes of a foreigner, but that particular type of entitled and unsympathetic American who so annoyed me when I encountered him” (p141) His reaction: “This realization angered me… I resolved to exorcize the unwelcome sensibility by which I had become possessed.” (p141) “I was disturbed about what this implied about myself: that I was a man lacking in substance and hence easily influenced…” (p142)

4 Political Conflict Pakistan is under the threat of war.
Changez paints international politics as a system of bullying, with Pakistan as a 'vulnerable' victim and India and America as bigger, stronger adversaries. He tells the American that it will “perhaps be odd for you… to imagine residing within commuting distance of … a full scale invasion” coming from “a country that has not fought a war on its own soil” (p144). He notes that “in our case the fittest and brightest were leaving” instead of the weakest, further portraying America as having a destabilizing influence on Pakistan. “I wondered how it was that America was able to wreak such havoc in the world” (p149) How does Changez feel about it? ( ) “I felt powerless; I was angry at our weakness…” (p145) “leaving my family and home behind...made me a kind of coward in my own eyes, a traitor” (p145) “I was filled with contempt for myself” (p146)

5 Religious Undertones Erica presents a stark contrast to her earlier self; the woman who “shimmered” in earlier chapters is now “gaunt” and “ascetic” (p152-4). Changez describes her attachment to Chris in religious terms - she “glowed with...the fervour of the devout” as if “consumed by prayer” (p152) This reiterates the allegory of Erica/America yearning for Chris/Christianity

6 Changez's Relationship With Erica/America
Changez visits Erica at the clinic. It is clear that Erica does not wish to continue her relationship with Changez, whereas he briefly considers kidnapping her in his rental car. “I had to choose whether to continue to try to win her over or to accept her wishes and leave, and in the end I chose the latter” (p155) - Foreshadows his returning to Pakistan

7 The American Changez seems to establish that the American is indeed a soldier: “You are not unfamiliar with the anxieties that precede armed conflict, you say? Aha! Then you have been in the service, sir, just as I suspected!” (p147)

8 The Beard Changez decides not to shave it when he returns to America: “a form of protest on my part, a symbol of my identity, or perhaps I sought to remind myself of the reality I had just left behind...I know only that I did not wish to blend in” and that “I was deeply angry” (p148). People's reaction: “I was subjected to verbal abuse by complete strangers” (p148) “at Underwood Samson I become overnight a subject of whispers and stares” (p148)

9 Underwood Samson As Changez becomes more and more preoccupied with the situation in Pakistan, his effort at work declines: “I cut a desolate figure in the office after that, angry and preoccupied with thoughts of Erica and home” (p155) “I was negligent at my administrative duties, and did absolutely nothing to seek out a new assignment for myself” (p155-6) How he expects his work to react: “I have expected someone to come to my desk with a pink slip” (p156) How they react: Offer him an assignment with more responsibility in Chile

10 Foreshadowing “I had to choose whether to continue to try to win her over or to accept her wishes and leave, and in the end I chose the latter” (p155) - Foreshadows his returning to Pakistan “an evening such as ours, which is taking a turn towards the grimmer side” “After all, one reads that the soldiers of your country are sent to battle with chocolate in their rations, so the prospect of sugaring your tongue before undertaking even the bloodiest of tasks cannot be entirely alien to you” - p 157 How will the evening get grimmer?? What is the bloody task???

11 Chapter 9 Activities Write paragraphs on the following questions. Remember to use TEEL (including quotes!) 1. What does Changez's trip home reveal about his identity? What actions does he take to resolve the situation? 2. How does the war affect Changez? 3. How does his relationship with Erica mirror the one he has with America?

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