Analysis Of Themes In Mohsin Hamid's "Reluctant Fundamentalist"
The most noticeable figure of Pakistan Mohsin Hamid reflects the themes of patriotism and terrorism in the novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist was published in 2007. The purpose of the research is to give the reader a new idea in understanding the themes of “Patriotism” and the “Terrorism” after 9/11 in the society. Hamid was born in 1971 to a higher family in Lahore. Mohsin Hamid moved to California at the age of 3 when his father undertook a PhD program at Stanford University. At the age of 9, he moved to Pakistan and done his secondary education at the Lahore American School.
At the age of 18 he returned to the United States to join Princeton University, where he studied artistic writing under award winning novelists Joyce Carol Oates and Toni Morrison. After graduating in 1993 he came back to Pakistan and worked on his first novel. Hamid has spent his life in a state of travelling. His early life was almost sandwiched between the United States and Pakistan. Hamid met his wife in London. They with their daughter came back to Pakistan in 2009. Hamid has furthermore written much political and social explanation for publications, including The New York Times, the Paris Review, and The Washington Post. Many relate to practices of migration, residency, or migrant identity. He is well-known for writing Moth Smoke (2000), The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007), and How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia (2013).
The novel ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ employs the method of a frame tale and it is a dramatic monologue. Changez is the protagonist who fall a victim to 9/11 incident. The loss of identity is the main theme of the novel published in 2007, the novel became an immediate success and went on to sell one million copies and became a top seller. Selected for numerous awards, the novel is also a critical success and is a topic of continual debate amid scholars. In 2001, shortly after his 30th birthday, London Hamid decided to leave United States on 11 September. In the same year, he viewed with shock when terrorist targeted his earlier home across the Atlantic. He had since written. The title ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ is interesting and need some genuine, visionary energetic, and clinical partition. If we look at the apparent meaning we discover that a reluctant fundamentalist is the one who fluctuates in accepting and practicing the basics of the religion. But on a microscopic analysis and consideration, we ascertain many undertones and nuances.
Many critics have offered their analysis on the theme identity crisis and its title The Reluctant Fundamentalist. The word identity crisis is not a new issue to tackle with. Many writers have used this term identity crisis in their novels, such as Kamila Shamsie has used this term in her novel Burnt Shadow. The attack on the world trade center on 11 September 2001 with the help of 3 hijacked airplanes changed the picture of world. It developed the concept of terrorism, Islamism and initiated war on terror. This event is still in media and terrorist attack in New York was the turning point. This event has been of great importance for the world’s development in last 14 years and it also affected the people in their everyday life. (Global Jihad by Jarret M. Brachman, 29). The society is no longer oppressed. They need to figure out who they really are. After spending a very long span in an alien’s culture (America), one gets used to of it. But arriving back in the homeland (Pakistan), Changez loses his owned identity. Changez is an untypical protagonist as he is a representative of Muslim elite and a successful graduate of a prestigious university and working at Underwood Samson (a top consultancy firm). His unexpected downfall and how 9/11 incident contributed to his future, his awakening from American dream and how his social identity alters.
The month before 9/11, Hamid moved to London, where he watched the events of 9/11 unfold on television “with horror and fear” (Aitkenhead). Although it may seem surprising that the first draft of The Reluctant Fundamentalist was completed before the events of 9/11, Hamid says that it was initially “the story of a [Pakistani Muslim] man’s encounter with capitalism as practiced at the very beginning of the twenty-first century and a man who comes from one culture to work in another” (Singh 154). Initially, Hamid resisted addressing 9/11 in his novel, for fear that 9/11 “would potentially overwhelm the novel” (Singh 154). Eventually, Hamid decided that he needed to address 9/11 in his novel.
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