Explain one of the important settings in The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say that Lahore would be one of the most important settings in the novel.  Lahore is not only Changez's birthplace.  It becomes the center of his "rebirth" as a fundamentalist.  Lahore is where his narrative begins with the American sitting across from him in a cafe in the Old Anarkali district.  Lahore is where Changez is able to supposedly gain the perspective on the West that explains so much of his new belief system.  Lahore is where we, as the reader, are left to question so much of Changez.  Is he a threat to the West?  Does he mean to do harm?  Is he the perpetrator of violence or is he a victim to it as the novel concludes?  The questions we have about Changez and about what it means to be a "fundamentalist" in the modern setting only happen in the setting of Lahore.  It is the setting that embodies ambiguity for little is clear in terms of Changez when he is in Lahore.  The only reality that we are left with is that in the post- September world in areas like Lahore, there are strong and intense emotions regarding West and East that have to be addressed in some productive manner.