Is Changez 'reluctant' as the title The Reluctant Fundamentalist suggests?
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In the title of the novel, Changez is characterized as a "reluctant fundamentalist" because he believed in American society and even in its exploitative corporate values for a certain amount of time. Throughout the first part of his story, Changez says how much he loved being part of the valuating team at Underwood Samson. He introduces himself as "a lover of America", although, of course, after we hear his story, we may wonder if this statement as well as others in the course of his narrative are not paradoxical and deliberately ironic. In spite of Changez's possible irony in his hyperbolic praise of American institutions (see, for example, his admiration for the Princeton system of education "so pragmatic and effective, like so much else in America", p. 4 Penguin books paperback edition), in the first half of the books, he comes to represent the American myth of social mobility. Yet, America's racism after the 9/11 attacks and its foreign policy make Changez turn against the land he says he had loved so much.
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