Sunday, March 15, 2009

Language of the Fundamentalist

At the end of chapter five, the last sentence says..."Your ears must be exhausted; the time has come to employ your tongue--for taste, if nothing more, although I hope you can be persuaded to speak!" (page 76). I think this is such typical language of Mohsin Hamid. His language is deep, thoughtful, and sophisticated with so much to think about it. I love how he personifies the ears, it's a wonderful way to incorporate figurative language with the real idea that you're tired of hearing someone talk. Also, I like how this quote incorporates how not only should one speak, but listen as well. How your tongue can be used to speak, but still if you cannot speak, just to taste. It's almost like observing if you can't really put forth something in a discussion. In previous posts, I have talked about how Hamid has the easy ability to show instead of just telling. This quote is a perfect example. He makes each word seem important even if it's just "it" or "must."


  1. Margaret, you've basically hit the nail on the head here with that quote. In most books, it's not each individual sentence that makes it good, but it's the arrangement and the way it's all put together. With Hamid on the other hand, each sentence leaves you with something to ponder upon, and each one paints a distinct picture in your mind that brings the story to life.

  2. I think that Hamid's diction is part of who he is as an author. It is painstakingly clear that he is a thoughtful writer and thinks very carefully about which words will appropriately convey his messages. It truly is a treat to read such a well designed and structured piece.

  3. I agree with Maya, Margaret. You made a very important distinction on what makes this book different than others. Do you think that Changez's, or rather Hamid's, ability to make each word seem important comes from his belief that every word is important, or because that is just the way that he speaks. We've made previous observations that he is generally a practical and careful character, this could stretch to his way of speech.