Critical Review: Reluctant Fundamentalist

Sample Review Paper

There are many references scattered throughout the whole novel where the American gets agitated or even annoyed vividly at what Changez narrates. He particularly scowls when Changez tells him that he had smiled when he saw the towers collapse, but that doesn’t make him a sociopath (p.43). But the assumption can easily be ruled out because of certain reasons.

First, Changez is simply pouring his heart out before a completely stranger because the truth is, Changez may hate the American government but at heart, he still lovesAmerica. Bumping up on a person from the country he loves, he simply tries to be hospitable with a guest and wants to register his discontent with the US government’s policies. He simply narrates the circumstances that made him leave the country he loved so much and that every Asian or Muslim is not a fundamentalist by birth. Changez is quite oblivious to the American’s status. Second reason that the American is not after Changez is that being an agent of the either shadowy agencies of US, he would never let his emotions or intentions be known to his target, and his constantly changing gestures and emotions in accordance with Changez’s story are a testament that he simply bumped onto him.  What really happened can be computed by a hypothetical assumption that the American is after a target as use Changez as a distraction to keep an eye on it and the target being the burly waiter. Another hypothesis is that the waiter being an infuriated Pakistani decides to teach the American a lesson and follows him.

Either way, the intention behind Changez’s confiding in a strange foreigner can simply be attributed to that fact that even after being home, he feels homesick. He misses New York and its inhabitants and he misses Erica the most since her departure left him no reason to stay in a place where his mere presence invokes apprehensive whispers. Mohsin Hamid tries to convey the message that anyone, even the most liberals who oppose the American will and hegemony will be branded as fundamentalist as it has become the order of the day.

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