Exit West: Somewhat Dystopian Outlook

In Exit West, it is clear that Hamid is making a statement on the way people handle immigration into their hometowns. Throughout the book Saeed and Nadia travel through doors and move to many different places. Every place they move, they seem to feel foreign and unwelcome. Both of them have to find some sort of community to make them feel welcome wherever they go. Like how Saeed prayed with the preacher’s daughter in San Francisco and his group in London that reminded him of home. There is a migrant crisis wherever they go because the doors make it so easy to pass through and go to any country you please. And while this is a fictional book, it is obvious that Hamid is is connecting this to the present even if it came out two years ago.

While the book is telling the story of Saeed and Nadia, it also shows undertones of the migration crisis in every place they go. When Saeed and Nadia escape their hometown and go to London it is clear they are unwelcome. The citizens make the job market almost impossible to navigate and the immigrants stay completely separated from the natives. But the most obvious thing Hamid is hinting at is the somewhat gentrification in cities like Marin County. At one point in the book (when Saeed and Nadia move to San Francisco), the Narrator describes Marin County as relatively impoverished and lower income. This is an obvious hint at how the citizens feel about migration because Marin County is one of the richest and most expensive places to live in currently. Hamid is showing the audience how some people are so afraid of change and migration that they will move as soon as someone different from them comes to where they live. The property values went down because all the rich people got out as soon as others came in. Hamid called out this issue of people being scared of immigrants in a really subtle yet smart way. He follows the love story of Nadia and Saeed but also adds in those small hints about whats going on in the outside world both in the book and in real life. This story is a good warning for some of the people in this country who still believe walls should be separating us.

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