What made Changez change his mind in the end of the novel and go back to Pakistan?

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist tells the story of Changez's experiences in America and his ultimate return to Pakistan. It is told by Changez himself, who addresses a sort of monologue at a guest who he's with at a restaurant.

Changez was born in Pakistan but goes to America for college. He...

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The Reluctant Fundamentalist tells the story of Changez's experiences in America and his ultimate return to Pakistan. It is told by Changez himself, who addresses a sort of monologue at a guest who he's with at a restaurant.

Changez was born in Pakistan but goes to America for college. He attends Princeton and ends up joining a prestigious company called Underwood Samson. Changez has some initial successes in America both as an employee and in his personal life. However, Changez harbors some resentment for America, which deepens after the events of 9/11.

After 9/11, Changez is pleased that America has finally been "brought to her knees." He is also profiled and stigmatized by members of the American public who have begun harboring intense anti-Muslim feelings. Changez first returns home to visit his family in Pakistan and realizes that his family and friends now see him as an outsider. He begins to grow a beard, in part to feel more in touch with his Pakistani heritage. This leads to his firing at Underwood Samson.

Ultimately, it is a handful of things that lead to Changez's decision to move back to Pakistan. He never quite assimilates into American culture. This is partially due to his failings romantically and professionally. However, it is also the fault of Americans who never accept Changez as one of their own because of his Pakistani roots.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist can be viewed as an experience shared by many people of Middle Eastern descent who try and assimilate into American culture. They are never quite accepted by the broader American culture. Some Americans are cruel and racist towards them. The idea of a reluctant fundamentalist, therefore, is someone who wanted to become a part of America but was turned away. He is left with no other choice, seemingly, but to become a fundamentalist.

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America begins to change dramatically after 9/11. Changez says,

I had always thought of America as a nation that looked forward; for the first time I was struck by its determination to look back.

In its attempt to return to the patriotism and seeming innocence of some earlier era, like that of World War II, America seems to become a place that no longer has a place for someone like Changez. He wonders if it "contained a part written for someone like" him at all. Then, an ugly and racist confrontation angers and alienates Changez. One night, two men accost him, one making unintelligible noises obviously meant to mimic what the man assumes Changez's native language is. When the man's friend leads him away from Changez to avoid further confrontation, the first man calls the narrator a "[Expletive] Arab." Changez, who is not an Arab, calls the man a coward for saying this as he walked away and produces a tire iron with which to defend himself against physical attack. The situation de-escalates at this point, but the "intensity" of the encounter is "unprecedented" for Changez and leaves him quite shaken.

Moreover, Changez realizes that he has changed, that he has developed a particular kind of American outlook on the world, on his home. He feels that he'd become "entitled and unsympathetic." In addition, Changez realizes how hypocritical America is and that, despite the help Pakistan gave America in Afghanistan, America will not come to Pakistan's aid in its potential war with India.

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Hamid constructs Changez in such a complex way that there end up being multiple factors that cause him to change is mind and go back to Pakistan.  Obviously, Changez's belief that the cultural dynamic and foreign policy element in the United States following the events of September 11 helped to create an evident construction in which Changez was not a part.  Changez felt that he did not fit into the "nostalgia" with which America proceeded following September 11.  Adding to this was the loss of Erica, whose death prompted Changez to view reality in a more isolated manner in America.  With Erica's death, Changez no longer felt that New York, and by extension, America, was home to him.  His discovery in Chile of how his function as a janissary, someone who was commissioned without knowing to destroy their own culture in the name of another helped Changez view himself in a different light.  All of these elements converge in motivating him to return to Pakistan, an area where the feeling of being an outsider is not as evident.  Changez believes that he can no longer be a part of something that he sees as so fundamentally wrong and in this, his decision to return to Pakistan becomes a reality that he embraces.

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