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TRF - Setting: time and place

Overview of Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist
by

Jessica Jeacle

on 6 February 2013

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Transcript of TRF - Setting: time and place

"For me, writing a novel is like solving a puzzle. But I don't intend my novels as puzzles. I intend them as invitations to dance."
Mohsin Hamid, The Guardian 2011. "This is a book that pivots on a smile."
Karen Olsson, The New York Times Clip from documentary ''Reel Bad Arabs" just type the title into YouTube. Moshin Hamid reads from The Reluctant
Fundamentalist (really good for your audio-learners) Just type in Moshin Hamid reads The Reluctant Fundamentalist into YouTube. Unfortunately, there was not a lot of information about The Reluctant Fundamentalist in this years Examiners Report.
We can however, take the following information from the report and use it to inform our teaching of the text throughout the year. "Students should be encouraged to have confidence in their own understanding and demonstrate a personal understanding of the text."
(VCAA EXAMINERS REPORT FOR ENGLISH, 2012) Setting:
Princeton- American elite, a melting pot- the reference to the fake Ivy early in the novel symbolic of America trying to become an established ancient nation- pretense.
Greece- A middle ground, a place where Erica and Changez as symbols of the East and West can meet peacefully?
Valparaiso- A symbolic Pakistan
Underwood Samson- American excess
Manilla- Symbolic of how far behind Pakistan is compared to other countries. The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Setting: time and place What do the settings tell us about how the author creates meaning?
What is going on at this time in history that impacts upon the characters? Passages on setting

Cafe, Old Anarkali, Lahore, Pakistan - pgs 2, 36 etc, plus at the end of each chapter.
Princeton, New Jersey - pgs 3 - 5
Underwood Samson - pgs 5-10, 13-17, 37, 39-51, 108-112
New York - p 37 and others throughout the text
Athens, Greece - Chapter 2
Manila, Philippines - pgs 72-85
Valparaiso, Chile - chapter 10 Princeton Old Anarkali, Lahore, Pakistan New York On September 11, 2001, the United States experienced a terrorist attack directed at several major landmarks.

The attack was perpetrated by terrorists who hijacked four passenger jets. Two of the jets crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York City, eventually causing them to collapse.

A third jet crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

A fourth crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. The attacks stunned the nation and essentially shut down the cities of New York and Washington. The stock exchange closed and the White House was evacuated. The next day, President Bush declared the terrorist attacks acts of war.

That same day, the United States received the support of Britain, Pakistan, NATO, and the U.N. Security Council.

On 9/14, the United States Congress passed an almost unanimous resolution giving President Bush the power to pursue those involved in the 9/11 attacks.

In the next two days, President Bush approved a military plan to combat the Taliban in Afghanistan, who seemed to be to blame for the attacks. Pakistan continued to support the United States by demanding that the Taliban surrender Osama bin Laden, the suspected mastermind of the attacks.

The terrorist attacks on the United States on 9/11 resulted in worldwide involvement in the fight against terrorism.

Pakistan was one country that repeatedly pledged its support to the United States. PAKISTAN FACT SHEET

The nation of Pakistan is only about six decades old, but human history in the area reaches back for tens of thousands of years.

In recent history, Pakistan has been inextricably linked in the world's view with the extremist movement of al Qaeda and with the Taliban, based in neighboring Afghanistan.

Pakistan's population as of July, 2008 was 172,800,000, making it the sixth most populous nation on Earth.

The official language of Pakistan is English, but the national language is Urdu (which is closely related to Hindi).

Religion in Pakistan:
An estimated 95-97% of Pakistanis are Muslim.

Independence and Partition
Muslims in the north of British India objected to joining the independent nation of India after World War II, so a partition was agreed upon. Hindus and Sikhs would live in India proper, while Muslims got the new nation of Pakistan.
Prior to 1947, the country now known as Pakistan was a British colony. In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to the region under a new name, Pakistan.
Since gaining independence, Pakistan's history has been characterised by periods of military rule, political instability and conflicts with neighbouring India. The country continues to face challenging problems including terrorism, poverty, illiteracy and corruption.

A regional and middle power, Pakistan has the seventh largest standing armed forces in the world and is a declared nuclear weapons state, being the first and only nation to have that status in the Muslim world, and the second in South Asia. It is designated as a major non-NATO ally of the United States and a strategic ally of China. Pakistan is a founding member of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (now the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) and is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations and the G20 developing nations. Athens, Greece Manilla, Philippines Valparaiso, Chile Task:
What are the key events that happen to Changez in each setting?
What is the significance of the setting to Changez' story and character development?
Find relevant quotes that show how the environment impacts upon Changez' mood/feelings Running sheet:
1. Look at settings, discuss importance
Pakistan (15 mins)
2. Settings group task. (40 mins)
3. Time and place: 9/11
4. Clips, podcast, discussion (30 mins)
5. 9/11 and the text read section and respond 9/11 and the text How does Changez respond when he learns about 9/11? How does he say he feels about his response? Document useful quotes.
Find evidence of Changez mood as the war starts and escalates (pg 113 is a good place to start)
In your opinion would Changez' positive feelings towards America have changed even if Sep 11 hadn't happened? Give evidence. Time and place
Full transcript