What is Hamid’s message in terms of dreams?

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

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I think that Hamid's vision of dreams is that they can be agents of great creation, but also represent elements of destruction in the process.  By the end of the novel, it seems that no dream should be seen as absolutely perfect or devoid of critique.  Consider that Changez is one who sees America when he first enters it as almost a "Bollywood film."  There is little in way of skepticism or doubt in his assessment of it.  The same goes with his pursuit of Erica.  In fact, Changez's embrace of the American Dream narrative is something in which he immerses himself entirely, not doubting its potential for disappointment  or how such a dream might conflict with his own conception of self.  The same can be said for his current pursuit of fundamentalism as a dream.  There is little in which Changez operates that accepts limitations and negotiation as a part of being in the world. Changez either fully accepts or fully rejects based on the presence of the pursuit of his dreams.  In this respect, he and Erica are similar in that she has a difficult time being animated by her dreams or being crushed by them.  For Hamid, America's pursuit of a dream of a world in which it is the center of being for all and not questioned in anything or with anything is a part of the critique being offered.  Dreams become the source of great success, but Hamid also points out that they should not be embraced without some level of scrutiny and analysis as a part of their appropriation.


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