Forum – Book Report/Review Example
Forum: The Reluctant Fundamentalist Forum Hamid leaves things ambiguous because the ending has a nervous standoff in which neither party seems in agreement. Although Changez mentions the American’s stereotyping and generalization, and the supposition that he may carry a gun, neither of the two wins the argument. The presence of the waiter intensifies Hamid’s ambiguity because the reader cannot tell whether he is conspiring with Changez, or the American, or if he is separate from both parties. Similarly, it is uncertain whether Changes is now a terrorist under surveillance by the American, or whether the American is a secret service agent, or has a gun. The power of the end of the novel lies in this lack of knowing.
Hamid wants to express the outrage that Changez has about the perception of the American about his Pakistan culture. “It seems an obvious thing to say, but you should not imagine that we Pakistanis are all potential terrorists, just as we should not imagine that you Americans are all undercover assassins” (Hamid, 2007). The generalization the American has towards Pakistanis saddens Changez, and cautions him through the example of undercover assassins. This exemplifies his intelligence as a good judge of character.
The ending confirms the judgment that we as readers have made throughout the novel. Changez is a fundamentalist who dislikes aspects of American way of life and global interest and laxity. Although he is reluctant to make any changes and has mixed feelings, and even leaves home during an impending war, the ending points out his dissatisfaction with the American culture that stereotypes other cultures in a general and dissatisfied manner. Changez tells the American, “I know you have found some of my views offensive…” (Hamid, 2007). Changez is reluctant to discard his Pakistan values but he later has to select a life path with a set of guiding life principles that make him more Americanized and not offensive.
Hamid, M. (2007). The Reluctant Fundamentalist. New York: Harcourt, Inc.