How does Juan Batista contribute to Changez becoming so disinterested in his work?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Juan Batista is able to identify to Changez something that had been percolating underneath the surface.  Changez recognizes that his time in America had been spent without the cultivation of a real or strong sense of identity.  Juan Batista understands this and identifies this in their conversations as part of the reason why Changez will never be fully happy or content.  Batista discusses this with Changez: "Does it trouble you … to make your living by disrupting the lives of others?”  This statement hits home with Changez because it encapsulates a couple of realities that are part of his identity at the time.  The first is that his work is parasitic in that it does not create anything as much as "disrupts the lives of others" for others.  Changez realizes that Batista is saying applies to him.  Additionally, Changez realizes that his service to the company and to America, in general, is benefiting others and not himself.  At the same time, Changez recognizes that his work has to be done with "blinders," something he can no longer continue with America's conflict and eventual abandonment of Pakistan on Changez's mind.  It is here where Batista invokes the concept of the janissary, something that resonates with Changez.  Batista might be doing all of this in order to keep his own company and state of being, something that can be accomplished if Changez quits his job.  Yet, whatever his motivation, the insight given to Changez by the older man Batista impacts him in an existential way in which his work can no longer be done, causing him to become intensively disinterested in life at Underwood Samson.


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