In the novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Changez shares a story of his life and his relationship with both America and Pakistan. In the novel there are themes of identity and change. The passage in early chapter 9, when Changez is discussing his return to Lahore, is essential for the reader to be able to understand the change that Changez had been going through at the time and his struggle with his identity. In this passage Changez arrives back to his home in Lahore and is ashamed to see his home and to compare it to his lifestyle in America.
When Changez first moved to America he was still very much loyal to his Pakistani roots. But to try and ‘fit it’ Changez began to evolve into an American, leaving his old life and identity behind. It is in this passage that he completely realises that he had been masking his own identity in order to fit in to this new American culture.
As Changez’s time in America progressed he realised that he had become so comfortable in
America and in his new found ‘identity’ that he had become the “unsympathetic and annoying”
American that he first despised. He was “saddened” and “shamed” to look at his home in Lahore, in comparison to his high status life in New York.
This is a crucial point in the novel because this is where he realises that his house in Lahore had not changed, in fact he had. He says, “I was looking about me with the eyes of a foreigner.”
Changez was angered by this revelation. He had been “possessed and