Read chapter 10 of the Reluctant Fundamentalist and comment on the different conflicts which can be seen in the novel:
- a conflict between Changez and the American
- a conflict between Changez and the United States
- a conflict between Changez and his workplace (Underwood Samson)
- an inner conflict between Changez and himself
Find reasons/explanations for each of these possible conflicts.
Also, comment on the two quotes from chapter 10, from a conversation between Juan-Bautista and Changez:
“Have you hear of the janissaries? “No,” I said. “They were Christian boys,” he explained, “captured by the Ottomans and trained to be soldiers in a Muslim army, at that time the greatest army in the world. they were ferocious and utterly loyal: they had fought to erase their own civilizations, so they had nothing else to turn to.”
“There really could be no doubt: I was a modern-day janissary, a servant of the American empire at a time when it was invading a country with a kinship to mine and was perhaps even colluding to ensure that my own country faced the threat of war.”
As homework for Wednesday, January 31st, read chapters 7 and 8 (pages 77-98), and answer the questions below on your blog or on Fronter.
The questions concern chapters 6 and 7, we will work with ch. 8. together in class on Wednesday.
- Imagine that you are Changez and write a personal diary entry about the atmosphere in New York after 9/11.
- Work with the text, write answers in your own words and use quotes to enhance your statements: What does Erica say about Chris? How are Muslims treated in New York City? According to Jim – how does one gain power? What does Changez mean when he says “I was Chris and she was with Chris?”
- Find passages om chapters 7 and 8 that support the claim that Changez is changing in his loyalty, and becoming more patriotic to Pakistan.
Publish blog or hand in on Fronter before class on Wednesday.
Read some eyewitness accounts from a city in shock, this is a text from the New York Times the day after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the city.
Write a short blog post (2 paragraphs at the most) including your own thoughts and impressions after reading the text and seeing parts of the documentary in class.
We are now 2 chapters into the story of Changez, the American and the Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Write a blog post where you comment on:
- your impression of the story so far. Remember that you are allowed to be negative, but no matter what your thoughts are so far – try to explain and give examples of what you like or dislike.
- on the vacation in Greexe – Changez describes the group he travels with (excepting Erica) in different ways – how? And what does it say about his opinion of them? See if you can find at least one quote to underline your statements.
- What does Changez tell Erica about Pakistan?
- Why do you think he says that he wants to be “the dictator of an Islamic republic with nuclear capability?” (p. 31). How does his audience react to this?
After publishing your post, move on to read chapter 3.
“My Son the Fanatic” is a short story written in 1997 by Hanif Kureishi about a father and a son living in London, and struggling to adapt. The father left Pakistan and loves England, he wants to become as English as possible, because “you can do almost anything here.” The son has never been outside England, but still struggles to find his place in the English society, and is looking for something else, going back to the culture and faith of his ancestors, and becoming more and more angry with the society he sees around himself – the society his father is so in love with.
“Free for All” is a short story written by Moin Ashraf in 1999. This story too depicts a father and a son, this time in the US, the father doing everything “right” to become an upright and successful man in his new country, and being frustrated at seeing his son leaving the ideals of his own country and tradition. It is a culture clash, between a son who has grown up American, and a father who still looks back to and values of his Pakistani homeland.
Write a blog post where you EITHER compare these two stories in terms of father-son relationships and the question of identity and belonging, OR discuss what these two stories say about being an immigrant, and raising a family in a different culture. What are these two stories saying about multiculturalism?