Erica is a character who demonstrates the extent of nostalgia’s damaging effects, her sanity of mind slowly depleting throughout the text. From the very beginning Changez notes that while she did has a certain “magnetism” about her one still ascertains the feeling that she “existed internally” and that some part of her “was out of reach, lost in thoughts unsaid”, this detachment provides a foreshadowment of the inner turmoil causing instability within Erica’s mind. As Changez and Erica become close he notices a picture drawn in her apartment which he discovers was drawn by Chris and he observes within the picture that there is a volcano containing “an island within an island – wonderfully sheltered and calm”, this symbolises Erica’s current state and when the 9/11 attacks occur it symbolises the volcano erupting resulting in the island within being thrust in to turbulent seas and violence, as Erica finds herself post the attacks, resulting in a deep state of nostalgia regarding Chris, who at one point was also her -ironically- protective volcano. After the 9/11 attacks occur Erica became highly “introspective” and she states that she hasn’t been like this “since the first time, since Chris died”, her nostalgic thoughts becoming evident and with worrying consequences, Changez becomes desperate to “extricate her from the maze of her psychosis” to which she was slowly becoming more lost in as her thoughts turned to Chris. “When Chris died, Erica felt she had lost herself”, and the attacks on the World Trade Centre had plunged Erica back in to that state of introspection where “she did not know if she could be found”. Erica was slowly being overrun by “a powerful nostalgia” highlighting the dangers of becoming too nostalgic, with the danger of leaving a person “Emaciated, detached, and so lacking in life”.
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