I don't think it would have been possible. Erica was, or is, just too in love with Chris to ever give herself completely over to Changez. Actually I should rephrase my answer. I don't think that a long term, emotionally satisfying relationship would have been possible between them. But if they had committed, and Erica hadn't wasted away, they probably would have lived the rest of their lives together in a compromise. Loving eachother, but not in love.
I completely agree with you Luara! I really liked how you said "they probably would have lived the rest of their lives together in a compromise". I think that explains EXACTLY Erica and Changez's relationship. A passage in the book that I think really explains their relationship is when they are sleeping together and Erica can't pay attention to Changez because she keeps thinking about Chris. To help Erica feel better, Changez tells her to pretend he is Chris. In the book this event kind of creeped me out but it really defined their relationship. It showed me that Changez may be more in love with Erica (because he is willing to pretend he is someone else to make her feel better) than she is with him.
I agree with both of you. I sort of thought of them as soul mates, but not the kind that would elope. It seemed like they were so connected. Changez could read how Erica was feeling really well, but couldn't always control himself because he really liked her. I was really creeped out too when Changez told Erica to pretend he was Chris. That was just a bad move on Changez's part, and further proves that their relationship wouldn't have worked. If the only way Changez can get Erica to think about him in that way is to pretend he is someone else, you know something is wrong there. If Erica had not been so hung up on Chris, I feel like a little something may have worked between them, but not something long term.
I agree with all of you, but I think in my mind I wanted them to end up together. Changez was so in love with her, but it seemed he was way too overwhelmed, like for example he didn't know what to do with himself now that he liked her so much. Julie I know! Oh my gosh, that was so weird. How can you tell her to imagine another guy as her dead love? They were good together, but she would never get over Chris.
Margaret, I wanted them to end up together too! They just seemed to have such a deep understanding of each other. I do agree that Erica not being over Chris was a dilemma. I think that this may have been Changez's first real relationship where he thought he was in love, and didn't really know how to handle it. He was never really sure when to call Erica, and he thought about her constantly. It was so sad when Erica disappeared from the hospital because it didn't give Changez the closure he needed.
I definitely see what you guys are saying about the whole compromise thing, but I personally didn't and don't think that they would end up together, and I didn't really want them to either. I thought their relationship as a whole was just kind of weird and creepy from the beginning. I don't know if it was just me, but it seemed like in Greece, the way Changez was describing the 'connection' they had, it seemed like it was all in his head. And I definitely agree with you all that the whole imagining him as Chris thing was super creepy...I think that Erica was way too nostalgic and stuck on the past to ever be able to be in a serious relationship and that her and Changez would never work together because eventually, he would want more attention than just her pretending she was with Chris.
I know what you mean Maya. It bugged me that in Greece Changez didn't really go after Erica. He never really does in his relationship with her. Erica's issues with Chris definitely blocked anything from happening. If Changez really did care/want to be with Erica as much as he said so, why didn't he make that more clear to her? He didn't really seem to put himself out in the open at all, and I think that is also part of the problem.
Yeah, and in addition to this, I feel like their whole relationship was just a little too 'polite'. I know that's what Changez's defining trait was, but I felt like when he was in love, it should be different, and that maybe that would bring out a different side of him. It didn't though, and he remained his reserved, proper self.
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I agree Maya! I think Changez's politeness gave Erica mixed signals. As readers we knew how much he cared about her. But if I were Erica I would be wondering if he wanted to be friends or more than that!
Do you guys think that if Changez was more forward and less polite that Erica would have eventually gotten over Chris. Because I know she would always love Chris, but what if Changez was able love her just as much as him. Of course they wouldn't be the same, but I feel like if he really was more forward, she would've been able to see herself with him more.
Margaret, I completely see where you're coming from in saying that if Changez was more forward, he could have helped to draw Erica to him. However, I feel like that would possibly turn her off. I got the impression that Changez's quiet, polite behavior is what made her feel comfortable confiding in him. He wasn't ever forceful in making her tell him about her life, instead she chose to speak to him. He was a good person for her to converse with because he simply listened, whereas so many people in Erica's life tried to "help". You must listen to someone before you can help them.
I get what you're saying Michaela, however, really where was their relationship going? He never made the effort to just take it to the next step, and maybe you're right, she would've been uncomfortable, but if they would've stayed together, it would have gone absolutely no where. It's like when you have a finacee for example and he never makes the move to getting married, what do you do now?!
I see your point too. It's obviously a very fine line. And possibly the relationship just wasn't meant to be. Maybe these two characteristics simply don't work very well together? It seems to me that it is definitely worth a try, but while trying one must realize that things can very easily fall apart.
Michaela I like what you said about how easily things fall apart. One, it's the name of the book we're now reading in class. But more importantly it is sort of the motto of this book. For example, in the end Changez's whole future depends on what he does in that one deal. When he chooses not to be successful, everything downspirals and he ends up back in Lahore as an infamous 'anti-american' spokesperson.
In response to Margaret's question, I definitely think yes. I think the whole reason their relationship was weird and didn't work was because it was too polite. I think that if Changez had confronted Erica about the fact that she was still in love with Chris, maybe she could have realized that she needed to stop living in the past and move on by being with Changez. I think that the only way their relationship could've ever amounted to something like marraige is if Erica got over Chris but obviously she's not going to do that unless Changez takes a step towards trying to get her to forget him.
Do you guys think Erica could ever really get over Chris? I mean even if Changez had took the next step and confronted her about Chris, do think that would have made a difference in her obvious addiction for Chris? I think Erica was so connected to Chris, so familiar with the bond they shared, that it would be VERY VERY difficult for her to completely move on. Thats why I don't think Changez and Erica could ever end up together. Her love for Chris is way to strong. It wasn't Changez's fault, they just could never work.