Yes. I think that (as has already been said on this blog) one of the American's purpose in the book was to mirror the stereotypical American's responses to the story of a Pakistani man. It really made me feel like Changez was personally telling me his story. When Changez was telling the American about his intimate struggles with Erica, the American got sort of flushed. Changez commented on that and sort told the American not to feel uncomfortable about it. By Changez's description of the restaurant, you could tell that the American was uncomfortable with the Pakistani people all around him. I think that some Americans would have felt uncomfortable in that situation due to 911.
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing, except for the end of the book kind of threw me off a little. It made it seem like the whole book was all just a set up, which totally changes the whole idea of a typical American being the stranger. In the broader sense, do you think this scenario of the Pakistani telling his life story to an American stranger is natural or even somewhat normal?
I don't know if I would call it normal, but I think it made it more different. I mean, if an American were the one telling the story, sure we could relate better, but would you really want pretty much a one sided story. I found it fascinating the different perspectives we could see this from. After 9/11 we saw how some people were discriminated against. I never actually thought about it til I read this book.
I don't feel like the American's reactions were "typical" because of what happens at the end of the book. I feel like the typical American would try to understand where Changez is coming from and try to feel for him. It is quite clear by the end of the book that the American did no such thing.
I do think that some of the reactions were typical. Americans looked at him like he was some foreigner that didn't belong. On the other hand, like Michaela was saying, at the end they did seem to understand, or atleast try to understand. I just don't understand why he waited til the end of the book to present that perspective.
I'm not 100% sure why the author kept the book so one sided, but possibly it was because often as Americans, we are one sided and he wanted different perspectives out for readers to try to understand. There are probably many reasons for the author to write the book the way he did, but as I was reading this was really the only reason I could come up with as to why he would do such a thing.
One reaction, that Julie brought up earlier, was how uncomfortable the American felt when Changez was talking about him and Erica making love. But the stereotypical American is generally loud and boisterous and crude, so I think this proves that the man Changez is talking to is a more professional American, as he is portrayed in the ending.
I have not gotten to the ending yet. But what I have read, I do think the American is suppose to protray the American people as a whole. Of course there are going to be things about the American that we don't see in ourselfs. But besides that the reactions from the American seem very American!