Initial Impressions • What is your first impression of Changez? Justify your answers where possible 2. What do you think his feelings are towards America? 3.Why might Changez have been motivated to speak to the American?
Getting to Know Changez • How did Changez feel about arriving in America and starting at Princeton (analyse the language used by the writer). Pg. 3 • How do his first impressions tie in with classic/traditional ideas about America?
6. ‘Identity’ is a central theme in the novel. How does Changez seem to feel about his identity in the very early stages at Princeton? Pg. 3-5 7. Comment on the image (metaphor) used by Hamid on page 5 to describe the corporate recruiters arriving in Princeton. (“Princeton raised her skirt”…) 8. What evidence is there that Changez feels his ethnicity and identity are a benefit in this environment?
Mini Essay 1 (PCQE Task) Between chapters 1-3, we meet Changez as he is ‘now’ (in Pakistan) and learn the story and circumstances of his arrival in America. As he set out for the USA, Changez was seduced by the notion of the ‘American Dream’. However, the Changez we meet in Pakistan has adopted more negative sentiments towards the USA since his return. To what extent do you agree with the statement above? You should answer in PCQE format with at least four quotations and a conclusion
Pupil Exemplar 1 Hamid makes it clear through imagery and tone that Changez originally had high regards of the university which have changed. “every fall, Princeton raised her skirt for the corporat recruiters” This has positive connotations of seduction. Changez was seduced by Princeton and an idea of the American Dream. Princeton then seduces recruiters by showing of the best of the best about the university. On the contrary, the same quote has negative connotations of prostitution. Princeton almost manipulated her best students – not against their will. This double meaning shows how Changez’s impression of America has changed.
Improving Exemplar 1 Point/Context Hamid makes it clear through imagery and tone that Changez originally had high regards of the university which have changed. • Lacks Context • Expression is a bit clumsy • Lack of colon to introduce quotation
Quotation “every fall, Princeton raised her skirt for the corporat recruiters…” • Spelling Mistake! • Page Number Missing • Easy fixes
Evaluation This has positive connotations of seduction. Changez was seduced by Princeton and an idea of the American Dream. Princeton then seduces recruiters by showing of the best of the best about the university. On the contrary, the same quote has negative connotations of prostitution. Princeton almost manipulated her best students – not against their will. This double meaning shows how Changez’s impression of America has change • Expression is weak • Structure (This bit is positive. This bit is negative) is too simplistic • Analysis does not move beyond superficial • Final sentence doesn’t tell us what the change is.
Mini Essay 2 Although Changez was unaccustomed to the world and lifestyle that Underwood Samson opened up to him, he enjoyed exploiting it while he could. However, his identity and culture prevented him from feeling truly comfortable in doing so. To what extent do you agree or disagree with the statement above?
When he worked for Underwood Samson, Changez was able to indulge himself in the lifestyle he dreamed of having before arriving in America and Hamid’s characterisation of Changez reveals that he was swept up by the privileges of his new environment and status: “Do you know how exhilarating it is to be issued a credit card and told that your company will pick up the tab for any ostensibly work-related meal or entertainment?” (Pg.42) The word exhilarating and its connotations of thrill and emotional intensity imply that Changez was overwhelmed by the life of luxury that he was being introduced to. Having worked hard to achieve such opportunities, it seems that he felt well on the way to achieving the ‘American Dream’ he so desired as a young man growing up in Pakistan.
Despite exploiting the credit cards and social opportunities afforded to him by Underwood Samson, Changez’s Pakistani heritage and identity seems to prevent him from feeling truly comfortable with his new lifestyle, unlike his American colleagues: “…and with impunity spend in an hour more than my father earned in a day” (Pg.42) This subtle characterisation of Changez and his revelation that he was unable to avoid feeling somewhat guilty about his lavishness helps the reader understand the deep-rooted Pakistani ‘identity’ and sensibilities that have been instilled in the character. While his American colleagues, most of whom have come from privileged backgrounds, can spend with ‘impunity’, Changez values money and wealth very differently as he has watched his own family’s wealth dwindle.
Critical Essay Question Choose a novel in which one of the main characters struggles with identity or the culture of the environment they live in. Describe the character’s situation and go on to discuss how it adds to your understanding of the character and the central concerns of the text. • Due to Mr Miller no later than Thursday, October 3rd
Sample Introduction In Mohsin Hamid’s ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’, the main character, Changez, struggles to feel comfortable with his true identity throughout the novel. Through Hamid’s use of characterisation, symbolism and plot structure, he helps us understand the conflict between Changez’s true identity and the identity he creates for himself on his journey from Pakistan to America and back again.
Sample Conclusion Mohsin Hamid’s characterisation of Changez in ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ helps the reader to understand the character’s struggle with identity. His need to feel ‘at home’ and accepted in both Pakistan and America drives his actions throughout the novel and provides an insight into the clash of cultures between Eastern and Western societies and the capitalism that drives America in particular.