When thinking back over the novel, I noticed the power of connection. Connection, in various different forms, influences every character and their actions. Throughout the novel, as the characters mature, it seems the connections grow more dense and complex with them.
The more literal form of connection in Exit West is the connection of countries through the doors. The big presence of migration in this book reveals the global complexity of connections in this novel. As Nadia and Saeed pass through more doors, entering new places, the narrator develops an increasing omnipotent tone, more complex with every door. Through this travel, the characters are able to connect to more cultures, environments, customs, and even job experiences. “We are all migrants through time.” (209).
Possibly one of the most prevalent forms of connection that appeared in the novel was love. Without the drive of love in the novel, Saeed and Nadia would not have lived the adventure they did together. Their initial connection gave them the confidence to begin their travel. “She took his hand in hers and held them tight, and then, releasing them, and without a word, she stepped through.” (104).
An addition of love for their futures inspired them to find a better life for themselves. Even if Saeed and Nadia’s love was not romantic in the end, their relationship and genuine care for another allowed them to develop their identities and find themselves. Through connections with others in different communities, both Saeed and Nadia were able to learn more about themselves. These encounters with others and Saeed and Nadia’s growth through them caused the two of them to drift apart. However, this space was for the best. Nadia was able to find her own love with the cook and Saeed with the preacher’s daughter. Multiple connections of love led the two to find what they most value in life. This love opened doors in their own lives for more connections and freedom in their own identities.
The final main connection I noted was Nadia and Saeed’s connection to their home. Even with the various places they visited, they kept their connection to their home and they kept Saeed’s father in their minds. I believe when Nadia and Saeed both their home, fifty years into the future, the theme of connections is completed. Even after all these years apart from each other, Saeed and Nadia still connect. “It was familiar but also unfamiliar, and as she wandered about slowly, exploring, she was informed of the proximity of Saeed, and after standing motionless for a considerable moment she communicated with him, and they agreed to meet.” (229).