To what extent do you agree that the fate of both Erica and Changez is the same in The Reluctant Fundamentalist?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To an extent, I can see the similarities between the predicaments or fates of Changez and Erica.  Both experience a sense of disillusion with reality.  Both understand what it means to have their hopes dashes.  Both realize that life during college, in this case, Princeton, does not mesh with life after it.  Yet, I am not entirely sold on the idea that their fates are the same.  Erica withdraws into her own nostalgia of her life with Chris, something the she clings to in the days following the events of September 11.  Even if one says that Changez does the same with his embrace of fundamentalism, he does not embrace the nostalgia of the past.  Rather, he recognizes that nostalgia has no place for him.  Additionally, I would stress that Changez and Erica are different because Erica was not maligned or marginalized by the social setting.  In some respects, she relegated herself to the periphery.  Changez was pushed to the side with the emphasis on nationalism in America as something that ensured Changez could not be a part of it.  At the same time, I would suggest that their fates are different because Changez does not kill himself, while presumably Erica does.