Discuss Changez's quote that “I was never an American. I was immediately a New Yorker.”

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

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I think that the basic idea of the quote reflects how Changez immediately immersed himself in the reality of New York before anything else.  Changez immediately embraces New York because it represents all of the cliches and images of what America should be.  The vitality, energy in which individuals can use freedom to define their own sense of being, as well as the idea that there is an unlimited sense to what can be done are all part of New York and Changez's impressions of it.  The statement also brings out how Changez immediately embraces the reality of the American Dream.  While he claims to "never" be an American, the embrace of New York in such an immediate and passionate manner is a reflection of how he does accept the American Dream and all that comes along with it.  The urban location of New York as a part of it is representative of both how Changez sees his own sense of self, but also a part of the myopia that is present in his narration and how he conceives his own identity throughout his recollections.  It is in this idea that while he might claim to be distant from America, he really embraced what it offered through the promises and possibilities of New York.


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