Exit West: A Deep Dive

Exit West is a very intriguing book because of everything from its plot, to the magical doors, to the unique writing style, to the message that it is conveying. Today, I wanted to take the time to analyze one specific line from the novel to do a deeper analysis.

My favorite line that we have read so far is, “The dead neighbor bled through a crack in the floor, his blood appearing as a stain in the high corner of Saeed’s sitting room, and Saeed and Nadia, who had heard the family’s screams, went up to collect and bury him, as soon as they dared, but his body was gone, presumably taken by his executioners, and the blood was already fairly dry, a patch like a painted puddle in his apartment, an uneven trail on the stairs,” (85).

First, I want to analyze the syntax of this passage. This whole passage is just one sentence, which is something that is quite prevalent throughout the novel, but its use here is especially interesting. Most of the time, when Hamid uses these types of long sentences, he is referring to the experiences of the main characters to make them even more real. However, he uses this technique here to describe the aftermath of a tragedy that happened to the upstairs neighbor. I believe that he uses this tactic to not only force the reader to feel the emotions with the characters, but to breathe reality into this situation. The long sentence conveys a sense of hopelessness. Not only that, but it also conveys the urgency of this world because as soon as they witness it, the main characters are not only forced to accept it but also forget about it very quickly. Within the span of one sentence.

Another significant aspect of this sentence is its foreshadowing. Not long after this sentence, Nadia and Saeed get the opportunity to go through one of the famous doors that so many immigrants were forced to go through as their last option. I believe that the imagery of blood in this passage conveys something more. The wet blood seems to represent their current, terrible situation in this city that is overtaken by militants. The dry blood seems that it might be what they have to leave behind, and their past once they leave. When Saeed and Nadia leave, they’re forced to leave Saeed’s father behind, like the trail of blood. They lead a better life but have to leave things behind. The dried blood might represent the past, in that it is over now, but still lingers.

One thought on “Exit West: A Deep Dive

  1. Sonia Z

    The very long sentences really intrigued me throughout this book, and I agree I think they brought humanity and urgency to the situation that wasn’t there before. Thinking about the longer sentences as ways in which one can further connect with the characters makes a lot of sense to me because when reading theses sentences everything seemed to flow and make more sense. Hamid’s writing style truly supported the message and feel of the book.


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