Identify critical events that happen in the first two chapters in the novel.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the most important events from the first two chapters is Changez's introduction to the American.  Their interaction and settling in a cafe for tea help to establish the story.  From this, the events of Changez's life is revealed.  It is learned that Changez was top of his class at Princeton and someone who excelled at the opportunity to be in such a setting.  I think that it is of note that Changez tells his story while the American is observing him and taking stock of everything around him, including his suggesting to sit with his back to the wall.  This element enables us to understand that the narrative being told is being told under the guise of one who is watching, not merely listening.  I think that this is critical because it really helps to establish the narrative of ambiguity and questioning that emerges throughout, especially relevant at the ending.  The American's purpose and his function is not really known.  To the same extent, we get to know about Changez in the first two chapters, but we still do not fully know of him in terms of who he is and what is happening.  The first two chapters detail significant events of the setting and the background of Changez.  Yet, the real critical event established is that we are grasping the development of the protagonist, all the while trying to fully grasp if the "chance" meeting between both is pure circumstance or if it is planned, and, if so, who is the target of such an encounter.