Juan Bautista is the owner and leader of the music industry in Chile. He is a hippy-like character that stands out as very philosophical. He is the one that finally gets Changez to go back to New York. He seems rather closed and egnimatic, as it is hard to shine light to his thoughts and meanings directly on America. We sense a slight dissatisfaction with the military, however, we do think he respects america and Changez.
The first time the work-team meets up with Juan, Changez immediately likes him. He resembles his grandfather. Big thick glasses, and a cane for support. Changez does think of him as wise figure whom he listens to in time of need.
We would like to think that Juan does not develop himself. The information we are given of his thoughts and meanings are restricted, so we do not want to draw any conclusions. He does, however, develop Changez. Changez had his mind on other things than the work, but Juan helps him think of the right things again. Changez, as a result of Juans advises, goes back to America.
How he affects Changez
As Changez struggles to keep his head in the game, and only thinks about Erica, Juan tried to help him. He tells him of the janissary, small Christian boys who were captured by muslims, and later forced to fight against their own kin. He thinks Changez is a modern day janissary, that is taken in to America, and now forced to fight against his own country. “I was a modern day janissary, a servant of the American empire at a time when it was invading a country with kinship to mine." He told him. This is what led Changez to go back to New York, and later home to Pakistan as well.
Juan Bautista is Spanish for John the Baptist. This is cleverly used as a mean to make us think about him as a cleanser for Changez. Compared to the American, Juan tries to make us pick his side, whereas the American makes us choose. He convinces Changez that America is bad, and that it has taken him a prisoner. John the Baptist was the one that baptised Jesus. According to christianity, baptising cleanses and cleans your mind, and makes you think clearly. Juan does the same for Changez, as he cleanses and clears his mind. We do, however, not think Changez is meant to resemble Jesus. He was never meant to be the messiah that forgave and suffered everybody else's sins. He stands up against America, and leaves right as it is.
It could also mean Jean Baptiste. Same meaning, however in French. That is the name of the narrator in Albert Camus' The Fall. In this book he is more of a philosophical person, that takes huge interest in reading and using the literature as a mean. This is quite like Juan, who stands out as rather philosophical when he speaks of the janissaries. He seems very wise, just as Jean does. The resemblance is remarkable.