In what way does the relationship between Erica and Changez symbolize the relationship between the United States and Pakistan?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One way in which the relationship between Erica and Changez can symbolize the relationship between the United States and Pakistan can be in the spirit of decay that exists in both.  Once their relationship starts, Erica and Changez are in a state of decay.  There is little either can do to offset the inevitable decay that defines their relationship.  Neither one is capable of being what the other needs.  In many respects, this is representative of the relationship between America and Pakistan.  Prior to the events of September 11, America and Pakistan emerged as actors in a play, a relationship that lacked the basic core of sustainability.  After the events of September 11, this was enhanced as neither could provide what the other needed.  Pakistan, like Changez, was incapable of helping the wounded America/ Erica.  In this setting, both were immersed in a sense of decay as their relationship reached a particular end where both essentially abandoned one another.  

Another way in which Erica and Changez can symbolize the relationship between the United States and Pakistan would be in the lack of trust present.  Erica is never able to trust Changez enough to be the person she could embrace as a soul mate and Changez is incapable of placing his full trust in her so that he could escape his feelings of inferiority.  In much the same way, this lack of trust is evident in the relationship between Pakistan and America, as both are incapable of trusting the other.  In the lack of trust, another symbolic construction helps to enhance the connection between Erica and Changez and America and Pakistan.

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