The Reluctant Fundamentalist Chapter 3
Academic Vocab • Allusion – a deliberate reference to another literary source • Hierarchy – a pecking order of power. • Meritocracy – free from class, familial or religious hierarchy. Instead, people are chosen on their merit or value to the organisation. • Elitist – someone who believes society should be ruled by the elite.
A question of power • In the café- • Who is in control of this relationship? The American or Changez? • In America- • Underwood and Samson • How is Underwood Samson a metaphor for America? • What is Changez’s relationship with U-S at this point?
Cultural identity • What comparisons does Changez make between America and Pakistan? • How would you describe his attitude? • What evidence is there to suggest Changez is an elitist?
Cultural identity • “I was, in four-and-a-half years, never an American; I was immediately a New Yorker.” • Why does Changez feel an affinity for New York? • What does it have in common with Lahore? • Why does he “tend to become sentimental” when he thinks about it? • (p51) “I was a young New Yorker… How soon that would change!” • What does this say about Changez’s identity?
Allusions • What literary allusions are made throughout the chapter? • Top Gun • Star Wars • The Great Gatsby • Why does Hamid make these references?
The American • Why does he recoil at the approaching beggar? • How else could Changez’s statement, “the recent history of our surroundings… allows us to put the present into much better perspective”, be interpreted? • There is a sense that much of what Changez says to the American has a double meaning. • Pay attention to this as you take notes.