Beloved and Exit West

After letting both books sink in for a while, a similarity between the two works really started to make sense. Both works are set in real-world places and real-world times with real-world problems, Exit West is set in what seems to be civil-war ridden Syria and Beloved is set in the brutal time period of American slavery. However, they both have one element that distracts from the real world and adds a deeper level of meaning, making the story truly powerful.

The magical doors in Hamid’s novel and the reborn baby in Beloved serve add much more to the story than just a bit of spice and fantasy. Beloved serves as a metaphorical representation of the collective memory of slavery, coming back long after its abolition to haunt its victims and their loved ones, and the doors play with the idea of an immigration crisis to combat the idea of restricted immigration laws.

I thought it was very interesting to see how effective placing an out-of-the-ordinary element in a very serious book could be in creating advanced statement about the real world and how it makes the book a work of art and not just a fun page-turner.

3 thoughts on “Beloved and Exit West

  1. Finn G.

    This is a really interesting analysis, and I think it solidifies the idea that both Beloved and Exit West share a genre: magical realism, the blending of fantastical elements with a realistic setting. That makes me wonder whether we’ll be reading more magical realism, realistic fiction, or fantasy / science fiction later in the year.

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  2. Jack B

    Overall, I really love how you connect Beloved and Exist West to that magical element. In both books this is clear, and as you write “However, they both have one element that distracts from the real world and adds a deeper level of meaning, making the story truly powerful” this truly shows how great both these writers are.

    Like

  3. Lizzy L

    I agree that the supernatural elements added to both novels. I am not usually a fan of magical realism, but I actually appreciated it in these stories.

    Like

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