The narration of The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Season of Migration to the North is unreliable and plays with the notion of uncertainty. With a singular narrative voice in The Reluctant Fundamentalist, that of Changez, Changez’s experience acts as a filter to the story. The text deals with differences between appearance and reality and this initial set up of a dramatic monologue narration style further complicates perception. The identity of the American to whom Changez is speaking is also shrouded in mystery. The reader is left to wonder whether he is an average citizen or someone sent by the government and if he is an agent of the American government, whether he has been sent to watch, kill, or arrest Changez. It is also never confirmed whether Changez is a terrorist of a sympathizer. With the confusion surrounding the identities of the two men, the outside ...
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...ed around Erica is strengthened by her unresolved love for her dead boyfriend Chris, described as having an “Old World appeal” (Hamid 30). The couple’s connection to European empire is ingrained in their childhood and Erica tells Changez that the two had an obsession with European comics which they tried to replicate, symbolically gesturing to a young American power attempting to imitate and recreate European empires (Hamid 32). Erica, like the American dream Changez sees in her, is fated to fall as she remains connected to the past of fallen world powers thorough her obsession with Chris. Her position is similar to the manner in which the American nation is connected to a dream of prosperity and opportunity that is also dead. Just as Erica’s boyfriend is consumed by lung cancer, America’s hegemonic pursuits are tainted with past imperial powers and collapse inward.
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