Explain the following quote from The Reluctant Fundamentalist:"Students like me were given visas and scholarships, complete financial aid, mind you, and invited into the ranks of the meritocracy....

Explain the following quote from The Reluctant Fundamentalist:

"Students like me were given visas and scholarships, complete financial aid, mind you, and invited into the ranks of the meritocracy. In return, we were expected to contribute our talents to your society, the society we were joining." (4)

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

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Changez's statement helps to bring out how the United States seeks to represent a haven for those who study abroad.  While education discussions may range from place to place, it is fairly well accepted that admission into colleges and universities in the United States represents a standard to which so many around the world aspire.  This becomes part of the American narrative that is appealing to so many people outside of the United States.  Changez is attempting to explain how he was, at one point in time, a part of this process in how he viewed his time at Princeton.  At the same time, Changez's quote helps to develop another part of this narrative.  The appeal of America to so many around the world is also, to a certain extent, self- serving in that America attracts talent from around the world with an expectation that these individuals will contribute and give back to the American society, and not their own.  Changez's wording and point here is deliberate.  Part of the American allure across the world comes with a specific price.  In attracting the best and the brightest from around the world, the American narrative develops as keeping those best and brightest for their own.  In this, Changez reveals a type of disturbing underbelly to what America tends to represent to so many outside of the United States, and what it represented to him when he was younger. 

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