Category Archives: Week 12

Week 12: The Reluctant Fundamentalist and The Rabbits

You may choose to respond to one of the following prompts:

Building on our class discussion last Thursday, compare the film adaptation of The Reluctant Fundamentalist with the novel. What differences did you notice? How do these differences affect your understanding of the text? Identify one or two differences between the novel and film, and discuss at length.

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In the final moments of the film, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, one of the CIA operatives admits to  Bobby that “We misread him [Changez].” The theme of reading—or, more precisely, of literature—recurs throughout the novel. Erica is an aspiring writer, who produces a short novel that Changez reads. An encounter with Juan Bautista, a literary publisher whose work is deemed to have little financial value, marks a pivotal moment in Changez’s life. The novel’s narrative structure of the dramatic monologue addresses the reader directly, as “you,” thereby foregrounding the act of reading. In the movie, Changez asks Bobby, the equivalent figure of the novel’s implied listener, to “please listen to the whole story, not just bits and pieces.” What is the significance of reading/listening and of literature in The Reluctant Fundamentalist?

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Record your impressions and your experience reading Shaun Tan’s The Rabbits. What is the story being told?