9th International IDEA Conference: Studies in English, Malatya, Turkey, 15 - 17 April 2015, vol.4, no.2, pp.115-122
Conference Paper / Full Text
A transnational approach to individual identity has come to the fore
front recently. This approach is what Mohsin Hamid is concerned with in his
novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist, in
which he presents a transnational character displaying the Pakistani experience
of migration to America.
The protagonist of the novel, Changez, has bicultural characteristics and his
idea of home changes in accordance with time and space. In the first half of his
is the place where Changez feels "at home." However, there is a
particular turning point of life for him, which is the 9/11 attack to the Twin
Towers, and this experience functions as an agent of self-awareness, shifting
his sense of belonging from the host country, that is America, to the homeland, which is Pakistan. Thus,
Changez spiritually returns to the homeland in the second half of his story.
While, prior to the 9/11 attack, Changez
enjoys his “Americanness,” represented by the American education, the American
girl, and the American business, his shifted identity after the event brings a
consciousness of his “origin,” and in the end, the “Pakistani Changez”
overwhelms his American self. Thus, Hamid displays how fragile and fragmented
identities might become in modern times.