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The Reluctant Fundamentalist

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1 The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Chapter 5

2 Chapter 5: A turning point
A possible cause of Changez’s dissatisfaction with the United States is revealed. The events of 9/11 are foreshadowed in the café. Comparisons between first world and third world countries are made.

3 Allusions James Bond – only better (ppp72-73)
Grease/1950s – compares slums of Manila to 1950s America (p73)

4 Interesting/Difficult Words
Find these words in the chapter, and write its synonym above it Canny – 72 – clever/sly Veritable – 72- actual/authentic Prodigious – 73 - remarkable Lucrative – 75 - profitable Innumerable – 75 - countless Permutations – 75 - versions Mired – 76 - delayed Jeepney – 76 - jeep/bus Sensibility - 77 – awareness/feeling Minutiae – 77 - details Invariably – 78 – always/consistently Gratification – 79 - satisfaction Unpalatable – 82 - unpleasant Munitions – 84 - weapons

5 Page 71-72 (about bats) “They are successful urban dwellers, like you and I, swift enough to escape detection and canny enough to hunt among a crowd” -72 Ambiguous statemet - unclear whether “like you and I” applies only to “urban dwellers” or also to the following clause. “firefly bumping repeatedly against the window of a house, unable to comprehend the glass that barred its way” represents “outsiders” The glass perhaps is the customs/beliefs of a society that the outsider is unaware of – thereby keeping them as outsiders.

6 Page 73 “How odd it seems now to recall that time; how quickly my sense of self-satisfaction would later disappear!” – 73 - foreshadows his disenchantment “Truly you are well-traveled for an American” – 73 – draws on the idea that Americans are insular (inward-looking) “I am increasingly curious as to the nature of your business – but I am certain that you will tell me in due course” – 73 – ambiguous. Perhaps leading the reader to believe the “business” is sinister because of of the italics?

7 Page 74 “it was one thing to accept that New York was more wealthy than Lahore, but quite another to swallow the fact that Manila was as well” – 74 – Changez’s bitterness/envy is shown towards countries that are better off than his “I attempted to act and speak, as much as my dignity would permit, more like an American….I wanted my share of that respect as well” – 74– Changes identity to get more respect – “my share” indicates that he thought he deserved that respect – sense of entitlement – perhaps from coming from an ‘elite’ family “I was often ashamed” – 74 – still shows sense of guilt- conflicted feelings

8 Page 76 – 77 – Change in identity
(about Jeepney driver) “his dislike was so obvious, so intimate, that it got under my skin. I stared back at him, getting angry myself” – 76 “he and I shared a sort of Third World sensibility” – 76 “when I turned to answer [my colleague] …I felt in that moment much closer to the Filipino driver than to him” – 77 “I felt I was play-acting, when in reality I ought to be making my way home” - 77

9 Changez’s withholdings
Changez hides his feelings at several points of the novel: In this chapter- ‘I was often ashamed. But outwardly I gave no sign of this.’ ‘I did not say anything, of course.’ ‘I never let on that I felt like I didn’t belong to this world. Just like you.’ (Jim says of himself but relates to Changez) ‘I tried therefore to be as nonchalant as possible.’ ‘this allowed me to share in the anxiety of my colleagues and ignore for a time my initial sense of pleasure.’ Cultural? - ‘we learned to savor the denial of gratification’

10 Erica & Jim She is distant, a world away. Rockpool (78), Brief emails
He “did not belong” but he “never stopped swimming” and is the embodiment of the American Dream – he has risen from poverty to great financial success. (p80) Changez doesn't’t feel the same way – though finds a similarity in that he was “I was outside the candy store looking in” (connection to firefly) when his family’s fortunes declined. This prompts him to reflect on the nostalgia of his family for their past success. It “was their crack cocaine… and my childhood was littered with the consequences of their addiction.” (p81)

11 Night falls Changez tells the American “I wish to warn you before I proceed.” (p82) He offers the American a drink, who declines. How does the change to night and pause in the narration affect the mood?

12 9/11 – p83-84 Why does Changez smile as the towers fall?
He is “remarkably pleased.” He is “caught up in the symbolism of it all, the fact that someone had so visibly brought America to her knees.” (perhaps feels satisfaction that this time it is someone else losing something) He is happy that America had been exposed and threatened. Though he states he is “no sociopath” and is perplexed that he is “pleased at the slaughter of thousands of innocents.” The American is now disturbed and “clenches is hand into a fist.”

13 Page Has to deal with customs as well as stares from others following the attack Feels relieved that he is worried about Erica – and that he doesn’t have to pretend

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