Fundamentalism In The Reluctant Fundamentalist

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What Goes Around Comes Around

In Mohsin Hamid’s postcolonial novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist, the Pakistani writer challenges and questions the colonial stereotypes after 9/11; “[It is] the story of an ambitious Pakistani immigrant disenchanted with American life […], [Hamid’s first novel] is a significant literary intervention in both form and content” (Singh 149). The juxtapositions between East and West came into greater focus after the tragedy that struck the United States of America at its heart. Therefore, this relentless battle between East and West in Hamid’s novel will be the main focus of this essay, offering a critical discourse analysis of The Reluctant Fundamentalist. The narrator, who performs a dramatic monologue, in Hamid’s
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Corruption, dictatorship, the rich living like princes while everyone else suffers. Solid people, don’t get me wrong. But the elite has raped that place well and good, right? And fundamentalism. You guys have got some serious problems with fundamentalism.” I felt myself bridle.”…show more content…
Arguably, the character’s discontent with the United States of America in The Reluctant Fundamentalist, is entrenched as much in his political distance from the events of 9/11 as it is in his unanswered love of Erica. Changez’s employment at Underwood Samson, a valuation firm that uses “Focus on the fundamentals” as their guiding principle, brings him to the Philippines on an assignment (Hamid 112). On his last evening in Manila the following happens in The Reluctant Fundamentalist:

I was in my room, packing my things. I turned on the television and saw what at first I took to be a film. But as I continued to watch, I realized that it was not fiction but news. I stared as one – and then the other – of the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center collapsed. And then I smiled. Yes, despicable as it may sound, my initial reaction was to be remarkably pleased. […] I was caught up in the symbolism of it all, the fact that someone had so visibly brought America to her knees.

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