Time Only Moves in One Direction

Topics: September 11 attacks, Character, Al-Qaeda Pages: 2 (704 words) Published: July 27, 2013
Time only moves in one direction. Remember that. Things always change”. How do characters respond to change in the novel?

In the novel, “The Reluctant Fundamentalist”, we see characters respond to change in many different ways. From the main character Changez’s realisation of self and expression of true nature, to a character like Erica who reseeds into herself, the response to change is evident. Although these two characters show mental, physical and sociological changes, other characters like Jim show no reaction at all to change and continue their lives in the same way no matter what the circumstance.

Before the “9/11 attacks”, Changez not only embraced but was almost consumed by the idea of the “American Dream”. To satisfy his obsession Changez cut off all ties to his homeland and by his own recollection he attempted to “act and speak more like an American”. This troubled him greatly. As Changez himself stated that this persona he took on made him feel “ashamed”. Like the cravings of a smoker attempting to quit cigarettes, his link to his homeland returned time and time again. It became predominant while he was in a limousine with an American co worker and thought to himself “you are so foreign”. this suppression of his true self would be brought to an end with the change that was brought on by the “September 11 terrorist attacks”. The first glimpse at the coming out of Changez’s character was first seen when a smile came to his face after seeing the attacks. It continued more and more as the novel progressed from his growing of his beard as “a form of protest” to feeling rage whilst watching the invasion of Afghanistan on the news. The change brought on by “9/11” had turned Changez from a starry eyed embracer of the “American dream” to a person who both loathed and resented the very “americansess” he had once embraced.

Erica’s change from before the attacks to after the attacks was also quiet extreme. Although somewhat damaged, Erica was a...
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