The setting in The Reluctant Fundamentalist takes place at a café in Lahore. The year is unknown, but most likely somewhere between 2001 and 2007. The main Character is heavily affected by 9/11, and we are therefore sure it’s happening after the attacks. Changez talks to who we know as “The American” in this café and it all happens in one day. As well as Changez talking to the American at the café, there are also other sub settings. Stories from New York, Philippines, Chile and Greece are being exchanged between the two.
The inciting incident in this story are both the American sitting down to talk with Changez at the café, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The attacks are a part of the subplot, mainly because changez talks about this story with the American. The relationship between Changez and Erica is the main conflict in this book. They start off by having a great relationship, but ends up struggling to keep their relationship going.
Changez’s personal traits are kind of hidden. The reader doesn’t get to know a lot about him, other than that he is perceived as a nice guy among others. Changez is going trough a change during this story, and we get to know him a little bit better, but not enough to be able to say we know him. In the start of the story, Erica is presented as a beautiful, confident woman, but changes into being fragile and weaker looking. The Character who is flat in this story is the main character, Changez. We get little to no information about him other than how he feels about Erica. We get more information about Erica, and she is a round character. Changez and Erica are the characters who change during this story. The other sub characters are not being talked about a lot, and we don’t get to see them change.
First person point of view is the predominant narrative style used in this book. Almost everything is told through Changez and his point of view. By doing this, the author makes it, in my opinion, more interesting. We get to know how Changez feels about the different things. If the story was told in third person, it would have been harder to understand Changez’s thoughts. The themes in this book are love, culture difference and adapting to a new society.