Identity; Chapter 8(134) How is Changez reminded (again) of American attitudes towards him and what’s the significance of his response?

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

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In the midst of his questioning regarding his place in a post- September 11 American social setting, Changez is reminded that he is more likely going to be viewed as an outsider to it.  The incident in the parking lot is a reminder once again as to this statement of being.  Changez being accosted as "an Arab" is representative of how he understands that he will always be viewed in American society as "the other."  Even though he is not Arab, he understands that American attitudes towards him will always see him as one in the wake of post- 9.11 anger towards Arabs.  As Changez sits in his car, he is overcome with how the incident is a stark reminder of where he is in American social stratification and how he will always be judged in this light.  I think that this is where this reminder becomes more concrete and more absolute to Changez.  He is overcome with the fact that he will experienced being judged as "the other" without having the benefit of being looked at as anything more on first glance.  From the initial love and embrace of America, this is a stunning reminder of where he is and a reflection of how he feels these attitudes will not be changed towards him.

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