Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Frequent Contributor
Jessica
Posts: 968
Registered: ‎09-24-2006
0 Kudos

The Book as a Whole: Religion

For a novel with "fundamentalist" in its title, this work has surprisingly little to say on the subject of religion. When, if at all, does Changez speak of devout faith, divine right, or deity worship?


Reply to this message to discuss any of these topics. Or start your own new topic by clicking "New Message."

Note: This topic refers to the book as a whole.

Frequent Contributor
bentley
Posts: 2,509
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
0 Kudos

Re: The Book as a Whole: Religion

[ Edited ]

Jessica wrote:

For a novel with "fundamentalist" in its title, this work has surprisingly little to say on the subject of religion. When, if at all, does Changez speak of
devout faith, divine right, or deity worship?



Reply to this message to discuss any of these topics. Or start your own new topic by clicking "New Message."

Note: This topic refers to the book as a whole.





So far, only heard him say Thank you God after he got the job at Underwood...will return later on this.

More of the book depicts attitudes, cultural differences, style of life, values, respect for elders and family ties, different work ethics, profiling, American characteristics, loss of the American dream, East v. West, powerful versus the weak, choices and differences, suspicion.

There was a song from South Pacific which seems to be apt. I think it was titled "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught".

Here are the lyrics: (Wikipedia quote below)

South Pacific received scrutiny for its commentary regarding relationships between different races and ethnic groups. In particular, "You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught" was subject to widespread criticism, judged by some to be too controversial or downright inappropriate for the musical stage.[1] Sung by the character Lieutenant Cable, the song is preceded by a lyric saying racism is "not born in you! It happens after you’re born..."

The song begins:


You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught from year to year,
It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear—
You’ve got to be carefully taught

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a different shade—
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late—
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate—
You’ve got to be carefully taught!
You’ve got to be carefully taught![2]

Message Edited by bentley on 05-01-200710:25 PM

Frequent Contributor
bentley
Posts: 2,509
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
0 Kudos

Re: The Book as a Whole: Religion


bentley wrote:

Jessica wrote:

For a novel with "fundamentalist" in its title, this work has surprisingly little to say on the subject of religion. When, if at all, does Changez speak of
devout faith, divine right, or deity worship?



Reply to this message to discuss any of these topics. Or start your own new topic by clicking "New Message."

Note: This topic refers to the book as a whole.





So far, only heard him say Thank you God after he got the job at Underwood...will return later on this.

More of the book depicts attitudes, cultural differences, style of life, values, respect for elders and family ties, different work ethics, profiling, American characteristics, loss of the American dream, East v. West, powerful versus the weak, choices and differences, suspicion.

There was a song from South Pacific which seems to be apt. I think it was titled "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught".

Here are the lyrics: (Wikipedia quote below)

South Pacific received scrutiny for its commentary regarding relationships between different races and ethnic groups. In particular, "You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught" was subject to widespread criticism, judged by some to be too controversial or downright inappropriate for the musical stage.[1] Sung by the character Lieutenant Cable, the song is preceded by a lyric saying racism is "not born in you! It happens after you’re born..."

The song begins:


You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught from year to year,
It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear—
You’ve got to be carefully taught

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a different shade—
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late—
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate—
You’ve got to be carefully taught!
You’ve got to be carefully taught![2]

Message Edited by bentley on 05-01-200710:25 PM






Further along in the book, Changez gives an interesting comparison...he states that when he was in Pakistan it was "odd to speak of that world here" and I guess when he is referring to America that is is "odd to sing in a mosque". Things that are natural in one place seem unnatural in another. There was another reference to religion when he views Erica in the "rehab" facility...and she looked gaunt (he made some reference to religion and fasting)..but so far not much about devout faith.
Frequent Contributor
bentley
Posts: 2,509
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
0 Kudos

Re: The Book as a Whole: Religion (Another Thought)

I wonder if sometimes the things that matter the most to us are seldom given a voice..they are the foundation of what we are all about. For some it can be their parents and for others their family and children and maybe for others their God and their religion. This seems to the foundation for many people.

So maybe even though religion is not really discussed here in the novel..it can be the undercurrent that runs throughout the novel without needing to be spoken with many opposing dichotomies which cause the shifts.

These shifts cause the ambivalence, the splits in Changez's personality and from his normal work ethic, it caused the division between what he thought he was after and wanted and what he was getting or thought he deserved or didn't. That to me was the paradox. It was almost like he was as traumatized by 9/11 as Erica was shocked by Chris's death. In both, there was a meltdown which left them both "unbalanced" and unable to cope with one world or the other. These were the unspoken contradictions which caused the schism between them and their worlds. Neither could cope with what happened and the fall out; and for each of them each other was their reminder. Erica retreated into her fantasy world where she could safely be and Changez retreated to Pakiston where he didn't feel like an outsider or stranger and the familiar felt good. Each one of them had a religion: they just changed their cause, their principle(s) and their activities. Both pursued a different way of life with zeal or conscientious devotion. Changez decided to cut his losses and Erica decided to pursue her dead love and retreat to her memories.

Some of the opposing or different paradoxes dealt with how to accommodate these different worlds like the following:

East versus West
Christianity versus Islam
America versus Pakistan
Pakistan versus India
Light skin versus dark skin
Clean shaven versus a beard
Respect for family and elders versus separateness and lack of respect
American dream versus loss of American dream
Slick minimalist new versus old and weathered tradition
Old status versus new money
Mosques versus churches
Traditional dress versus modern suits
Users Online
Currently online: 4 members 475 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: