Discuss what messages the author wants the reader to take from Changez becoming a university professor in The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For Hamid, the idea of a journey is extremely important to the structure and overall meaning of his work.  This journey is something that he has deliberately constructed in the reader's understanding of the work:

Because the journey I am asking readers to undertake is emotional and troubling, I knew I wanted a strong narrative pull, a mystery that would add urgency to their reading. The ending, I hope, is the culmination of those efforts.

In speaking to the journey that the ending represents, Hamid makes it clear that Changez also recognizes the power of the journey in his choice to become a university professor.  Changez understands that he cannot operate in a vacuum, as he did in America.  The tenets of self- absorption and failing to understand the need to recognize the social order are aspects of Changez's life that he sojourns to find require changing.  In becoming a university professor, speaking out about political reality, and supporting his students in a life that has a greater social level of meaning to it, Changez's journey is one in which, agree or disagree, a journey is evident.  This "emotional and troubling" element is something that Hamid wants the reader to absorb in a manner close to how Changez understood it, as well.