In terms of Changez's identity, what internal conflict has Jim noticed in Changez?

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

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Jim recognizes that Changez feels like someone who is relegated to the margins of social interaction.  He notices this tension within Changez, offering himself to help alleviate such pain to him:

I know that it’s like to be an outsider. If you ever want to talk, give me a shout.

Jim has identified that Changez's identity is beginning to change because his outsider status is no longer a source of strength, something that can be assimilated over in order to forge cohesiveness.  Rather, Jim understands clearly that Changez is divided inside and that he is living a fragmented state of consciousness where he is constantly reminded of being "an outsider" and whether or not he wishes to actually be inside, in the first place.  Changez's narration indicates that he rejects the idea that this change is caused by the American war in Afghanistan.  It is interesting to note that Changez does not illuminate much more about how Jim has noticed this internal conflict or whether or not Jim offered more of his assistance in this internal conflict.  To do so would indicate that Changez's narrative about a blustering America that fails too account for other people would be disproven by Jim's empathy.  Changez's portrait of America is a nation that does not care for or pay attention to the other nuances of nations and culture.  Jim does not fit this conception because of his recognition that there is something causing pain and discomfort to Changez.  Since the entire narrative is from Changz's eyes, we have little else to go on, but we know that Jim recognizes that something is wrong with Changez and is willing to help him through it, something that would challenge Changez's view of American identity as one American notices his own.

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