Akira Joker
WHUM 10312
In the book The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid the main character, Changez who is Pakistani, and went to an American school, Princeton, has a love interest in the book, the supporting character Erica. The character Erica is very important to the book and without her Changez would not have made the same choices he made, and possibly be leading a different life. Erica's personality changes drastically at one point in the book and I will be discussing about the change and how it also affects Changez . Erica is an important support character because her change in personality after 9/11 affects Changez .
Changez met Erica in Greece, his first thoughts of her was about her looks, and how attractive he found her to be. He became friends with Erica and she pointed out "You give off this strong sense of home" (Erica, 19). Eventually she starts to talk about herself and her past. Erica also talks about her previous partner, Chris, this character has a big influence on Erica. The reason for this is because Chris died from lung cancer a couple years before she met Changez . After his death she fell into a deep depression, not just because she lost someone she had a relationship with, but also because they were childhood friends. Erica never truly got over Chris, and Changez will soon see this, because he gets closer to her, and tries to obtain a loving relationship she shows that she still has strong feelings for Chris. Erica is very popular, and is trying to get published because she is trying to become a writer but her sadness eventually gets in the way of her getting her book published. Changez doesn't see her in a depressed state until after 9/11 and this changes Erica forever.
When the events of 9/11 happen Changez , who was in Manila, was not sure if Erica was safe, which worried him. After a long period of not seeing Erica due to him staying in Manila for business purposes, he met up with her. While she was with Changez she informed him that her mother was having thoughts of leaving New York City for period of time but Erica did not agree with this. She also mentions to him that "I keep thinking about Chris" (Erica, 80). This is starting to show that she is beginning to go back into her depressed state that arose in her after Chris' death. Changez continues to spend time with her and he notices that she does not talk to others about Chris, this made Changez feel like he had a rival for Erica but his rival is "albeit a dead one with whom I feared I could never compete" ( Changez , 82). Eventually they tried to make love but Erica found it difficult to get aroused because she says it is only possible when she is thinking of Chris. Changez told her to talk about their romance but he realized that her body refused him. "…when Chris died, Erica felt she had lost herself; even now, she said, she did not know if she could be found" ( Changez , 91). This is just showing that Erica is falling deeper and deeper back into her old state of depression by thinking about Chris.
Changez visited Erica in a bar at one point and he could not believe what he saw, a weaker looking, and pale woman that he thought was a different person. He also noticed that she has lost some weight since he last seen her, and her smile was what reminded him that it was Erica, but it only lasted for a short moment. She admits that she has been going through some troubles but the last time she felt like that is when Chris died. Erica has been thinking about Chris frequently during this time, and she was working on her novel as well, but this caused her to have dark thoughts. She does not want Changez to see her as much anymore because it will not be good for him, but he still wants her to go to his house. Changez eventually gets her