Are the Black Screens of Our Phones the Actual Magic Doors?

Mohsin Hamid in his novel Exit West feeds the readers the theme of escape. Whether through technology, drugs, or the mysterious magic doors, the people in the novel are constantly finding an escape of their perilous reality.

Although these mystical doors are unrealistic, they’re fascinating because they do something that seems so intangible; transport us to another part of the world in an instant. However, we have this power in something much smaller than a door; in our phones. Saeed and Nadia both use their phones – Nadia much more attached to hers than Saeed – to escape their reality. Phones are described to transport them to “places distant and near”, similar to the magical doors that end up physically taking them away from their homeland.

These doors aren’t such a foreign concept to us. As interested as I was by them, I came to the realization that something I use all throughout the day, does the same thing. Phones can transport us to places all around the world in more ways than one. We can purchase plane tickets off of them to physically take us to a different place or we can dive into a reality completely different than ours through videos, pictures, social media, etc. Whether they physically transport us or not, phones are an escape and can take us to different parts of the world in an instant; our own magic doors.

3 thoughts on “Are the Black Screens of Our Phones the Actual Magic Doors?

  1. Lucy S.

    I really like your interpretation of the doors. It really connects Nadia and Saeed’s story to the true migrant experience, because it is likely that many migrants (including Nadia and Saeed) find these metaphorical doors by contacting others with their phones.


  2. Alexis S

    I really like the connection you made between our phones and the magical doors from the stories. I agree that phones are a way of escaping reality. Honestly, I sometimes go on my phone just to forget about everything going on in my life. Very good connection, and very true!!


  3. Yasmin R

    This is a really interesting comparison you are making. It is sometimes difficult to connect a book to our own lives when it incorporates magical components. However, I think your connection is spot on. Our phones are an incredible escape from our everyday lives. They take us places we wouldn’t otherwise be able to go to.


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