We Can No Longer Trust: Suspicion and Vulnerability in The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Jiwen YANG

Abstract


Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist attracts great attention of both common readers and critics because it reflects upon the 9/11 attacks from the perspective of Pakistani people. This essay focuses on suspicion that runs through the story and attempts to examine the suspicious mentality behind the 9/11 attacks and the so-called war on terror. Humans’ suspicion results from their shared vulnerability and might do more serious harm to one another. The novel explores the vulnerability of all people that live in the shadow of violence and proposes an equal conversation as a possible solution to remove suspicion and strengthen mutual understanding. By comparing the conversation at the core of the story and another one that happens between Changez and Juan-Bautista, the essay finds that the conversation is a doomed failure if people and their countries just care about their own interests and ignore the shared destiny of all humanity.

 


Keywords


Mohsin Hamid; The Reluctant Fundamentalist; Suspicion; Vulnerability

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References


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LaPorte, D. J. (2015). Paranoid: Exploring suspicion from the dubious to the delusional [eBook edition]. Prometheus Books. https://b-ok.org/book/2603415/bb4da1.

Monton, E. O. (2017). The forgotten victims of 9/11: Cultural othering in Laila Halaby’s once in a promised land and Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Studies in the Literary Imagination, 50(2), 17-34.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/11840

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