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Describe what can be taken for meaning out of the following quote from Erica in The...

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meowththth | Student | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted June 23, 2012 at 10:48 AM via web

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Describe what can be taken for meaning out of the following quote from Erica in The Reluctant Fundamentalist “But now it’s finally being taken out, and just as its going I’m realising there’s a gap being left behind.”

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

Posted June 24, 2012 at 8:44 AM (Answer #1)

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This is when Erica is describing to Changez the feelings she has about sending her manuscript off to the publisher.  Her writing, "more of a novella than a novel," has taken so much time to develop and assemble that when examining the final product, the sum total of energy and dedication, it is jarring to consider that it has reached its termination point.  The quote is how Erica describes herself "like an oyster."  The "it's" which is "finally being taken out" is the oyster's pearl, represented by her novella.  The "gap" that is left behind is her post- novel life.  I tend to think that this reflects a bit more.  Erica turns out to be someone that lacks a center, a driving focus.  Her characterization is more of a charade of someone who has achieved happiness and contentment, while her reality is quite the opposite.  In her disclosure about "a gap being left behind,"  Erica might be tipping her hand a bit in expressing the fundamental emptiness that is a part of her being, something that Changez recognizes early on as something of loving value, but comes to associate with a larger vision of how America fits the same narrative.  In the quote, Erica is describing her feelings as an artist, but there is much in there to indicate that the descriptions offered are reflective of something deeper inside her.


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