Home Politics: Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist

  • 江 力行

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

In Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007) Hamid depicts the diasporic life of a Pakistani man in the United States which shows the immigrants’ difficulties of being a racial other The thesis argues that Changez finally chooses to be affiliated with Pakistani identity and return home to Pakistan as a solution for his unhomeliness in the United States through his journey of home-searching with his trauma of being a racialized other The thesis is divided into two main chapters Chapter One focuses on the notion of home for people in diaspora which changes through the experience of immigration In the former part of Chapter One the formation of Changez’s identity is “almost the same but not quite” an American in Homi Bhabha’s theory of mimicry The latter part of Chapter One examines how Changez emphasizes his class superiority throughout the novel An analysis of the psyche of Erica and Changez presents their racial melancholia in Chapter Two based on Anne Anlin Cheng’s book The Melancholy of Race in which she re-examines Freud’s notion of melancholia and mourning Both Changez and Erica suffer from racial melancholia: they cannot get over the loss because they want to preserve the superiority of whiteness By failing to get over the loss of whiteness they could assure their dominated social status in the United States In his relationship with Erica Changez’s self-identification is shaped through her lukewarm presence which further shows the inevitable harm of social status to every human-being living in the same society Hamid aims to make readers understand not only that racialized others are vulnerable but that all humans no matter what their identities are are vulnerable to the uncertainty and mutual suspicion
Date of Award2016 Jun 20
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJeff Johnson (Supervisor)

Cite this

Home Politics: Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist
力行, 江. (Author). 2016 Jun 20

Student thesis: Master's Thesis