In chapter 10 the conflicts between Changez and America, his workplace and himself enhances.
- a conflict between Changez and the American
A conflict between Changez and the American could be the skepticism the American expresses when Changez told the story about Juan-Bautista. Changez ensured the American that his story was real, like all the others. But you could never know if a person who you have just met speak the truth or not.
- a conflict between Changez and the United States
After the 9/11 attacks, Changez’s view on the US is different. And the US citizens started to look at Changez as more of a foreigner than before. Changez had loved his city and used to feel like an American, but now he felt like an outsider. And the only thing he could see was what the US did to Muslims and Muslim countries in the middle-east. This made a division between Changez and the US, and it was the start of their conflict.
- a conflict between Changez and his workplace (Underwood Samson)
After 9/11 Changez felt an urge to show the identity of his home country, therefore, he wore a beard. This was seen as a threat for his co-workers, and they encouraged him to shave. Jim was the only one not to care, he only focused on the work Changez delivered, not his looks. Jim suggested that Changez kept himself busy, with all that was going on, and offered him a case in Chile. During the trip, Changez did close to nothing of work, and created a conflict between him and the vice-president, and then with Jim when he wanted to withdraw from the case.
- an inner conflict between Changez and himself
I think his conflict within himself is the biggest conflict. Changez do not know were he belong, is it America or Lahore, or neither. He is torn between two completely different countries, cultures and, mindsets. Also the fact that Erica is distancing herself from Changez -because she is still in love with her dead boyfriend and will not hurt him- he does not have any reason to love America anymore. His whole view on America changes, he quit his job, but still long after Erica.
“Have you hear of the Janissaries? “No,” I said. “They were Christian boys,” he explained, “captured by the Ottomans and trained to be soldiers in a Muslim army, at that time the greatest army in the world. they were ferocious and utterly loyal: they had fought to erase their own civilizations, so they had nothing else to turn to.”
While Changez and Jaun-Bautista were eating at a restaurant, Jaun-Bautista told him this story. I think he did it to provoke an idea in Changez, that he was ‘fighting’ for America against his home, Pakistan, and was going to erase his own civilization.
“There really could be no doubt: I was a modern-day janissary, a servant of the American empire at a time when it was invading a country with a kinship to mine and was perhaps even colluding to ensure that my own country faced the threat of war.”
This was after the dinner when Changez was alone in his room. He sat and reflected on this idea for a long time. He concluded with the fact that he was a modern-day janissary, and that he was going to force his own country to face the threat of war.