Saeed, Nadia, and Assimilation

Though the United States does not have an official national language. Still, according to a Pew study, 70% of people in the U.S. said that speaking English is important for assimilating and being “truly American.”

Nadia seems to have embraced this, and rarely speaks the language of her home country, while Saeed seeks out others who come from a similar background and prays daily.

It seems that Nadia is adjusting more easily than Saeed. Her use of English and disinterest in their birth country is part of assimilating and adjusting to an “American” life. She doesn’t dwell on the past as much as Saeed, and she doesn’t feel the same need to make friends with others from her birth country.

But she still wears her black robes.

At her co-op, her robes identify her as an outsider to the man with a pistol, and even to her co-workers. Despite this, she doesn’t take them off.

Though Nadia and Saeed assimilate and adjust differently, both of them honor their backgrounds and roots.

3 thoughts on “Saeed, Nadia, and Assimilation

  1. Lizzy L

    I was surprised by how readily Nadia accepted Western culture in comparison to Saeed. I figured that she was more willing to assimilate than he was because her roots to her family were not as strong, so her roots to her home nation were not very strong either. It is to me interesting that their differences in assimilating are what ultimately caused their uncoupling.


  2. Zach B

    I think Nadia was willing to assimilate more into Western culture because she had less to hold on to in her native country. Saeed always seemed more hesitant about migrating because e was leaving behind his entire family and childhood home.


  3. Zack T

    This is an interesting topic. I never considered the American perspective and assimilation in the Novel because I was so focused on Nadia and Saeed’s relationship. However, it seems that only Saeed really honors his roots. Throughout their journey and the various places they stay, Nadia tries to distance herself from prayer and does not care about connecting to people from their hometown that are also migrating. She only wears the robes to fend off men, it does not have any religious or sentimental significance.


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