When you read the first two chapters of the novel, identify potential areas of confusion.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many areas of confusion from the opening of the novel.  This is probably deliberate.  Hamid might be trying to make a point about the issue of terrorism in the modern setting.   While it has become a political issue where reductive slogans and thought processes have become common place, Hamid might be trying to suggest that to fully understand the complete implications and narrative of terrorism and/ or fundamentalism, one has to be willing to embrace a bit of complexity, intellectual doubt, and a sense of the uncertain.  Indeed, this is where the first two chapters present themselves in terms of areas of confusion.  As Changez goes through his story, one is initially confused at how someone who is living the vision of what so many would call a dream could wind up as someone who is narrating the story.  Another point of confusion could be this entire condition of narration.  Was the meeting between the American and Changez pure chance?  Was it coordinated?  Is there tension between both because of the cultures clashing between the realm of the Middle East and the West?  Is there antagonism because of intrinsic racial cultural disdain?  Is the meeting between both not planned at all and that one has targeted the other?  Have both been targeted by  the other?  Is the narration a confession or a declaration?  The first two chapters bring up all of these areas to which the text can be read to mean one thing at one reading and then another at the very next reading.  It is this complexity that enables a larger and more encompassing discussion to take place about the nature of fundamentalism and terrorism in the modern setting.