Sunday, March 8, 2009
In The Reluctant Fundamentalist, the setting mainly takes place in two cities. New York City, and Lahore. But those are only physical places. The more important setting, to me, is the mentality that the main character has when he is describing these two places. When Changez is describing his life in New York City, is mental setting is very reminiscent, almost wistful. He does seem satisfied with the choices he made, and he did end up back in Lahore, but it would make sense that he's still sad. It's very difficult to go from living in one environment and getting used to it, then switching to one that is drastically different, even if it is a switch by choice. There also seems to be a hate/love relationship with America going on in this mindset. Also understandable. The anger is there because of his disagreement with some of America's political values, such as his reaction to 9/11, and because America took away the girl that he loved. But he still loves America for the education it gave him, the experiences that he got to enjoy. In the opening paragraph he even states 'Do not be frightened by my beard: I am a lover of America.' The term lover is a very passionate term, at least to most Americans, but it must be remember that passion is both sweet and violent at times. Not that I'm suggesting Changez would do any violence to America, but just that his mental setting is very jumbled. Just like the physical setting of the book! Switching between continents, the hubbub of New York City mixed with the silent night square of Lahore. It does paint a beautiful picture, those two men just sitting in a tea booth together watching the sun go down.