The Reluctant Fundamentalist Response



I found the relationship between the author and Erica really interesting. It continued the theme of the story of him wanting things and them being just outside of his reach. He could see what it would be like to be American, to fit in, to be with Erica, but he couldn’t actually have any of these things. Erica was still in love with her late boyfriend, and had a mental breakdown. She too couldn’t keep, what she had once experienced. In the end, she leaves her clothes by a cliff, and jumps into the Hudson River, which I depicted in my drawing. Right after, he goes back to Pakistan, and his relationship with Erica keeps him connected to his time in America. He keeps reading the alumni journal, to hear about her. He imagines full days with her. In my picture, I showed her jumping from the cliff to his life in Lahore. She couldn’t handle not having her life the way she imagined, and that she created this whole imaginary life for herself, and began living in her head. In jumping, and ending her life, and “jumping” into his life in Lahore, Erica became what her boyfriend was to her, to Changez. He began to live an alternate reality as well. He was in Lahore, living his life as a teacher, and eating in the regular spots in Lahore, but couldn’t continue his life, and spent full days telling his story to complete strangers. His time in America, and with Erica, distanced him from having a real life at home, and made the idea of this double identity, of who he is in Pakistan and who he is in America mixed and he can’t just switch between the two.


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