Slightly Different Ways to Read Exit West’s Title, Exit West

While Exit West‘s nebulous title has been touched on during class, I want to catalog a few interpretations I can think of.

Exit west, like a highway

It’s the most familiar language and is what people I’ve asked commonly guess the title means. It certainly sounds like a highway sign, using every word efficiently. This interpretation also supports Saeed and Nadia’s traveled based story by being an abbreviate highway sign. My initial choice.

Exit West, referencing perspectives

This title tells the reader to abandon western expectation for the story. It follows Exit West‘s habit of subverting western stereotypes about the middle east. Although it isn’t fair to say these stereotypes are directed towards the middle eastern due to Saeed and Nadia’s hometown never receiving a name. Which is also another way Hamid removes readers from their preconceived notions and biases. Anyways this title reflects the books empathy generating content. Also thanks to whoever first said this one from 1st period.

Exit West, like manifest destiny

Another one created by the wonderful students of period 1. An inversion of western expansion in the USA’s history with Saeed and Nadia’s destiny interfering with american’s destiny. I enjoy this one almost entirely due to illogical logical extent of this title. Particularly the idea of Nadia and Saeed invading the United States. Of course a more reasonable explanation would be an exaggerated description of migrants gravitating towards better lives, which maybe be in America, but that’s not nearly as fun.