Date of Thesis
In this thesis, I examine postmodern fiction in the wake of 9/11. Specifically, I investigate initial predictions of how postmodernity would end after 9/11, Jean Baudrillard’s hyperreality, 9/11 as a semiotic-saturated event, 9/11-novels’ representations of hyperreality and postcolonial intersections with postmodern texts. These focuses are analyzed in Mohsin Hamid’s novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist. The novel chronicles the protagonist, Changez’s life before, during and after 9/11 and how his perspective on America’s capitalist-centered society and his own identity shifts in the wake of the attacks. After 9/11, Changez undergoes a demystification with America’s nostalgia-based regression and returns to Pakistan. Similar to other 9/11 novels, The Reluctant Fundamentalist utilizes allegories to display hyperreality and postmodern tropes. The novel is distinct, however, because it is told from the point of view of a Pakistani immigrant to an assumed American audience. Therefore, this novel directly confronts the grand narratives and preconceptions surrounding 9/11 and predominately Muslim countries. The postmodern tropes allow for an acute interrogation of the historicizing of 9/11 and what role fiction has in creating and re-imagining history. Published in 2007, The Reluctant Fundamentalist offers a more recent and contemporary portrayal of 9/11 fiction. The novel allows us to see how postmodern tropes have evolved and remained after 9/11. The trends of 9/11 literature and contemporary fiction generally can be understood through this text.
Bachelor of Arts
Nicolai, Kathryn, "The Reluctant Fundamentalist's Depiction of the Postmodern" (2020). Honors Theses. 516.