Assess Changez's sense of identity in the sex scene with Erica where he pretends to be Chris.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is one of the most intense moments in the work in terms of understanding Changez's identity.  There are a couple of elements at play here.  The first is that Changez is willing to do anything to be with Erica, both sexually and emotionally.  The fact that he tells her to pretend he is Chris says a great deal.  Essentially, he is telling her to pretend that he is a White American, someone that her family and her accepted openly.  In telling her this, he is indicating that he knows that he is not fully accepted and in order to be fully accepted, he must pretend to be someone else.  It is here where a critical disjoint in his sense of identity is evidenced.  Additionally, I think that one can see that his reaction to what happened afterwards, with the stench of blood and the entire act being reduced to something far from love and more towards a sense of violent appropriation.  Changez's identity suffers immensely at this moment for he subjugates his own identity for something he coveted, only to find that it sorely lacked measuring up to the expectations in his own mind.  The crisis of identity he suffers in the sex scene with Erica is representative of what he endures with America, in general. 

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