The Crisis of Communitarianism in Mohsin Hamid’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Keywords:communitarianism, community, culture, country, fundamentalist
Mohsin Hamid’s novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007) has been critically examined from many different angles and with as many different assessments. The inevitable perspectives of socio-political affiliations; gender-related issues; religious persuasions; and terrorism are the usual benchmarks adopted by critics. All the standpoints mentioned in the preceding sentence proceed from ideological and theological positions. Any discussion along these lines tends to be subject to strong centrifugal forces resulting in stalemated debate. The need of the hour is to discuss such matters under the auspices of centripetal influences which bring differing viewpoints together rather than pull them asunder. Consequently, this study utilizes the lens of Communitarianism derived from the work Cultural Theory: The Key Concepts (2002) by Andrew Edgar and Peter Sedgwick. This concept proceeds from the premise that the functioning norms of any community dictate its ethical standards. Since the notion of community itself is an arbitrary construct, it can be adjusted to become more and more all-encompassing with empathy, understanding, and effort. However, as this study concludes, unexpected traumatic events can disrupt this delicate social development and result in a Crisis of Communitarianism.