The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Changez's Relationship with Erica 12th Grade

Mohsin Hamid's 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist' is an intriguing story of questionable identities and betrayal. The protagonist, Changez, finds himself in a teahouse in Lahore, Pakistan, where he engages in an extended monologue describing his life journey, in the company of an American stranger. Readers are presented with the thrilling and fascinating life of the young Pakistani man, but are also positioned to observe the way Changez's actions and choices are, to some extent, influenced by the protagonist's relationship with Erica.

In the initial part of the story, Changez is seen as a very successful individual, graduating 'summa cum laude' from the prestigious Princeton University, and being employed as an analyst at Underwood Samson, one of the best valuation firms in New York. Additionally, during his holiday in Greece, he meets Erica, a 'stunningly regal' girl who comes from an 'affluent' family and seems to impose a 'magnetism' upon Changez. At this early stage of the novel, Hamid positions the readers to envisage Changez's apparent achievement of the American Dream, while also drawing on the positive impact that the 'lioness' exerts on the protagonist, as his social life strongly develops, as a result of Erica's...

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