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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 3,107
Registered: ‎10-27-2006
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The Character of Changez

I got really irritated when Ch. started to fail at his job and stopped performing. I wanted to say 'for christ sake, pull yourself together, buddy' :smileyvery-happy: as if it would help (as others in the book did). But once more Ch. didn't feel that he was a part of the company and its culture.

When he visits Erica he decides to wear an ethnic outfit, his casual jacket was shabby (IOW: what he had was not enough). It is a good metaphor. He had a suit and that was too formal. He had his kurtan (he could get away with the exotics of it, that he knew, calculated) but he had nothing in between that would help him to find his own (new) rightful place. No third leg, not a penis.

His revolt when it came was kind of pitiful (the beard) and impotent. He had the privilege to talk to Jim about personal issues but he was unable to open up and let Jim help, unable to talk to him. Ch. had to keep the appearances up. He was mute and it looked like polite at times. Ch.: I didn't know what to say, so I said nothing. Good tactics but not feasible in a long run as Ch. painfully discovers.

The world he wishes to enter is Erica and he is not allowed in there either, it is already occupied by a shadow of a man and he doesn't convince her that he can replace him. All's behind bars. And Ch. didn't give up easily, he rattles them because he is in search of his soul, the feminine values in the masculine world. He wants to use Erica but she doesn't allow that.

He was also unable to talk to Erica and he made it look like listening. But he was locked inside himself, in a prison of his own making, unable to get out and risk himself for real (and for a short while he got away with it). In that state it is easy to resign and start blaming, pointing the finger. No one forced Ch. to be in US. He felt expelled from his family (by the financial situation of the family). He was not included in their once obvious wealth and he needed to venture out into the world, to do his own thing. Ch. seems resentful about it. Not positive, he's holding onto some old images that are no longer reliable but that is what he has stored in his mind, shadows of times that passed. Tradition and survival. PPP triangle: pride, prejudice and possibility. Survival on what conditions?

He didn't fit in and that brought about his definite end. He found one friend but he didn't listen to his advice when he needed to. You can't make it as a solitary agent, you are always part of some net. It is more a question of recognizing what net it is, and set the priorities when all cards are dealt. Is it easy? No, never. Is it possible? Yes, but it is also a question of what price Ch. is willing to pay. Changez was also searching for his soul, but he didn't know it yet.

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