How does Changez's development in Chile help to explain his final decision?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It seems as is if what Changez learns out of Chile is the final piece to set him on his journey as "the fundamentalist."  Everything seemed to make sense for him coming out of Chile.  The janissary concept  made more sense in assembling his life than anything else did, reflecting his own refusal to be a part of the destruction of his own people. Along with the idea that he could no longer work with "blinders" on, symbolic of both his work and his life.  At the same time, the gnawing angst that drove at him and kept pestering him now was being given voice as he was able to bring together his sense of self, the path America was taking, and the reality that he would not be seen as a part of America's success but rather as a target of its anger.  With Erica's death, Changez now realizes that there is nothing left for him in America.  In much the same way that he imagines her having "shed her clothes" before her death, Changez has shed his own romantic notions of New York and America, understanding who he is as a result of his understanding in Chile. Through this, Changez is set on the path that will define him and create the force to be seen as a "fundamentalist."