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Please explain the following quote from Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant...

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xinchaoyo | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) Honors

Posted June 24, 2012 at 10:46 AM via web

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Please explain the following quote from Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist:

“But now it’s finally being taken out, and just as its going I’m realizing there’s a gap being left behind” (51).

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tinicraw | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted June 27, 2012 at 4:27 PM (Answer #1)

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The setting for this quote is in Erica's room when she is showing Chagez the short story that she has written. She compares her relationship between her and her manuscript like that of an oyster and a pearl. At first, the oyster has something sharp and difficult to manage inside of it, but after time, turns it into something smooth and valuable. In the same way, Erica is like the oyster and her story is the pearl. However, she feels a void (or gap) where the pearl used to be once it is taken out. She is now coming upon a different segment of her life and she can feel the transition happening. The only way she knows how to describe the transition is to apply it to the aforementioned analogy in order to make her point more understandable for Changez (and possibly herself). This analogy certainly drives home her point about the relationship that an oyster must feel after working so hard to create something so precious and aptly compares it to how she feels about her story.

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