Moving beyond Cultural Trauma of 9/11: A Comparative Study of the Reluctant Fundamentalist and The Submission

Abdul Rashid, Khadija BiBi, Malik Muhammad Ali


The incident of 9/11 on account of its projection in media and political agents attempted to register the incident of 9/11 as cultural trauma. They (media and political leaders) have had been successful in this attempt as well. But later on, both American and Pakistani fiction writers focused on the theme of unburdening the cultural trauma. For this research project, Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist and The Submission by Amy Waldman had been analyzed in the light of J.C.Alexander’s model of cultural trauma (2013). In the light of the analyzed data we are able to establish that both the novels attempted to unburden the cultural trauma of 9/11. Apparently, the major characters of the both of the novels seem the victim of the prevailing situation of cultural trauma. Changez in The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Mo in The Submission had to suffer the situation of social discrimination and hatred on account of their Muslim identity. But interestingly, Mo and Changez both forget what they had to suffer. They long for a world which should be more civic and unprejudiced. The character of both Mo and Changez develop as ambassador of humanity rather as agents of nationalism. Both the novels suggest universal nationalism and unburdening of the cultural trauma of 9/11. Characters of the both novels suggest America to look the humanity beyond Americans sense of nationalism.

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