The Reluctant Fundamentalist Questions and Answers
by Mohsin Hamid

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In the ending of the novel, does Changez's view of "a lover of America" change when he moves back to Pakistan?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Like so much with Changez, there is not a definitive and absolute answer here.  There are a couple of things that are known upon Changez' move to Pakistan.  The first is that he has "had enough" of America.  It seems that he has reached his limit of his own state of being in America.  This can be representative of a lover because of how one experiences feelings of such intense magnitude, some level of retreat are needed.  Additionally, I think that Changez's positions against America can be seen as reflective of the lover who clings to any relationship with "the other," so long as they are still able to romance it, in some way.  Changez's positions that are so ardently against America can be seen as a way to channel a certain type of longing for it.  It seems to me if he were "over" America, Changez would simply live his life without the presence of America in his life.  In his life in Pakistan, being "the reluctant fundamentalist" seems to involve resurrecting the dead in order to kill it again.  This reflects how his move to Pakistan involves a type of love for America, one in which the individual still harbors emotions for the target of what was once love. Changez embodies this and in doing so, can represent how his move to Pakistan can be akin to a "lover" of America.

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