Explain one of the important settings in The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

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Outside of Changez's home of Lahore, I would say that Valparaiso, Chile, is one of the other most important settings in the book. This setting is important because it serves as the backdrop for the experiences that ultimately end with Changez deciding to leave America and return home.

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Outside of Changez's home of Lahore, I would say that Valparaiso, Chile, is one of the other most important settings in the book. This setting is important because it serves as the backdrop for the experiences that ultimately end with Changez deciding to leave America and return home.

Changez describes Valparaiso as a city like Lahore, which seems to signify he feels more comfortable there than he does in America. However, while working in Valparaiso, Changez goes into a sort of depression. Juan Bautista notices this and tells Changez that the reason he's feeling this way is because he's a mercenary working for a foreign government.

This strong statement sticks with Changez, and he begins to look at his life differently. He begins to see himself as an indentured servant. Changez eventually returns back to New York City, where he is fired from his firm. This is what ultimately leads to him returning back to Lahore.

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I would say that Lahore would be one of the most important settings in the novel. Lahore is not only Changez's birthplace, but 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- 9/11 world in areas like Lahore, there are strong and intense emotions regarding the West and the East that have to be addressed in some productive manner.

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