Summary Analysis In the Old Anarkali in Lahore, Pakistan, a Pakistani man, Changez, approaches a muscular, well-dressed man, the Stranger, without introducing himself or giving his name. He tries to find common ground between the Stranger and himself, but he does so by judging the Stranger based on his appearance, much as minorities in the United States are treated. The fact that he thinks the Stranger is uncomfortable around him, but proceeds with his questioning anyway, makes Changez seem rather sinister — his deferential attitude may not be completely sincere.
Share via Email Mohsin Hamid's novel seamlessly combines ideology and emotion, politics and the personal. Eamonn Mccabe It is a truism bordering on a tautology to note that first-person novels are all about voice, but seldom can that observation have been more apposite than in the case of Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Right from his solicitous first sentence, "Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance?
We learn that Changez is a highly educated Pakistani who worked as a financial analyst for a prestigious firm in New York. But after a disastrous love affair and the September 11 attacks, his western life collapses and he returns disillusioned and alienated to Pakistan.
All of this Changez reveals in an almost archly formal, and epically one-sided, conversation with the mysterious stranger that rolls back and forth over his developing concern with issues of cultural identity, American power and the victimisation of Pakistan.
The stranger is fidgety and anxious, and at first Changez's elaborate self-justifications for his contentious sentiments begin to suggest that perhaps he is a more sinister figure than he allows. Gradually, however, we are brought to wonder whether the person in jeopardy is not the stranger, but Changez himself.
One of the novel's notable achievements is the seamless manner in which ideology and emotion, politics and the personal are brought together into a vivid picture of an individual's globalised revolt.
In a sense, he is the embodiment of the argument that says that America has created its own enemies. Although that outlook may be fashionable on some US campuses, it has become practically universal in Pakistan, a country blighted by fundamentalists who display no hint of reluctance at all.
Indeed some argue that the social and political crisis into which Pakistan appears to be sinking ever deeper is at least partly the result of its political class refusing to challenge these unreluctant fundamentalists, preferring instead to take refuge in crowd-pleasing anti-Americanism.
The Reluctant Fundamenalist is in no way a critique of Pakistan's intellectual denial. If anything it could be described as an example of it. But if that were the case, it would do nothing to undermine its strength as a novel.
It's not Hamid's job to right the problems of his country of birth.
His job as a novelist is to capture a particular reality and give authentic voice to the characters therein. And in this he has succeeded with a sureness that is quite mesmerising.This paper focuses on the rise of anti-American sentiment in the post-9/11 period with the story of "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" by Moshin Hamid.5/5(1).
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid – review An alienated Pakistani tells his life story to an American stranger in Mohsin Hamid's mesmerising second novel Andrew Anthony.
The Reluctant Fundamentalist is a post-9/11 story about the impact of the Al Qaeda attacks on one Pakistani man and his treatment by Americans in reaction to them. In , Nair read the manuscript of Hamid's unpublished novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist. The difference between the two roles Changez plays – in Pakistan, he’s an interviewer; at Princeton, he’s being interviewed – suggest how greatly he has changed, and suggest that The Reluctant Fundamentalist is the story of how Changez moves from being a .
A Hijacking and The Reluctant Fundamentalist announce a new narrative order Phil Hoad: Film has moved on from the non-linear jigsaws once used to depict our globalised state. Critics Consensus: The Reluctant Fundamentalist is technically proficient, with solid acting and cinematography, but its message is so ambitious and 55%.