In The Reluctant Fundamentalist, what motivates Changez's initial love for and move to America?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To a large extent, I think that Changez's initial love for America is rooted in a social expectation.  Changez is open about the fact that for someone like him in his condition in Pakistan it is to be understood that there is an automatic migration to America.  Part of what the challenge successful kids like Changez face is that it is almost understood that moving to America is a part of what has to be done.  There is no reflection or analysis as to why this decision needs to be embraced.  There is little discussion as to what is gained from the move to America.  Instead, Changez comes to America as a hero from a "Bollywood film," as he states.  This false expectation of being in love with America and understanding that success back home generates and necessitates a direct move to America is where Changez is at the start of his narrative.  It is for this reason that he is able to come to America with a sense of love and drive towards it.  It is also for this reason that Hamid points out that Changez was invariably going to turn against America.  He was going to turn against it because there was little in way of full understanding as to why he came the America in the first place, helping to make a complex situation even more nuanced and difficult to understand.