In Chapters 10 and 11, how does what Changez learns in Chile influences his identity?

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

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I think that what Changez learns in Chile has a profound impact on his identity.  Prior to this point, Changez recognized that there was something wrong in his being.  In this, I mean that he recognized there was some disconnect, some fragmentation, that existed in how he lived in America and how he viewed himself as a part of it.  Certainly, part of it was processing the events of September 11 and the backlash against people of the Islamic faith.  Yet, this was only a part of it for it failed to reconcile how Changez was in his time at Princeton and in his time in trying to woo Erica and America at the same time.  In Chile, Changez understands the concept of the janissary, which proves instrumental to how he would conceive of his identity.  The janissary was recruited to "erase his own civilization."  It is this understanding that helps Changez to explain why he feels the way he does.  He understands that his lack of connect with America at this moment is because he sees his own identity as one in which he is "hired" by America to erase his own civilization, namely Pakistan.  It is this understanding that he gains out of Chile that helps him understand his own sense of self, profoundly influencing his own identity and how he will appropriate the world in accordance to his own subjectivity.

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