How does Amir change over the course of Disgraced?

Over the course of Disgraced, Amir changes from trying to be an assimilated American to being forced to confront and accept his Pakistani and Muslim heritage. He grows increasingly cynical about what he identifies as American hypocrisy regarding religion and tolerance. His polished veneer cracks, and he physically abuses his wife. His career is derailed, and he is on the verge of divorce.

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As the play Disgraced progresses, the central character, Amir, becomes more honest about his heritage but also more disillusioned about his American identity and US attitudes toward Muslims. Amir begins the play as an outwardly successful attorney who has built his career based on deception. Pretending to be from an Indian rather than a Pakistani family, he has similarly claimed Hindu rather than Muslim heritage. Although his wife knows the truth, he tells her—and himself—that he has not only lost his faith but also censures Islam. Despite his unwillingness to do so, through his nephew Abe, Amir becomes associated with a legal case about a supposed Muslim radical.

As Amir’s public persona is revealed to be a sham, he is forced to confront his own duplicity, along with the fears and greed that motivated him to spin a web of lies. While he criticizes what he identifies as the hypocrisy in American society, he is increasingly disturbed as Abe makes him realize that he had been complicit in furthering anti-Muslim prejudice. His career prospects are stalled as the senior attorneys at his firm, who are Jewish, learn the truth.

Amir’s confidence in his comfortable position is further eroded when he discovers that his wife, Emily, has been unfaithful to him. Amir’s unraveling is manifested in physical violence—first toward Isaac, her lover, and then toward Emily. In the end, he sympathizes with his radicalized nephew and will soon be divorced.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 17, 2021
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