Tracing the Burden of Representation in Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Keywords:Burden, Lahore, Culture, Metropolitan, Pakistan, Representation
The article analyzes Mohsin Hamid’s novel, The ReluctantFundamentalist in the light of the theory of The Pakistani English Novel: The Burden of Representation and the Horizon of Expectations (2018) by Dr. Masood Ashraf Raja.This article explores the novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist in the context of the debate about national expectations of the Pakistani audience and metropolitan market. The article expresses the role of the protagonist functioning as the mouthpiece of the writer addressing the matter of representation. Lahori culture represents primary culture whereas the culture of New York symbolizes the expectations of the global audience. It reflects the representation of the primary culture as represented by Lahore, one of the major cities of Pakistan, and the depiction of the culture of a host country as represented by New York, a cosmopolitan city. Though the novel emphasizes the racial differences, yet it offers raw material to depict the experiences of the protagonist with competing habitus who is fascinated by the culture of the host country offered by its cosmopolitanism and also wishes to embrace his cultural roots in Pakistan. Mohsin Hamid carries the burden of representation and reflects primary culture during his interaction with Erica, and his colleagues in America, and with an unnamed American in Old Anarkali.
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