Are We All “Others”?

When I think of someone being an “other,” I think of someone who checks the other box on a survey. Someone who doesn’t belong to any of the other choice the question asks. At one point or another, hasn’t everyone checked the other box on a question. So wouldn’t we all technically be “others,” not belonging to a certain group. In Exit West, every time Saeed and Nadia would go through a new door and start a new life in a new place, they felt like outsiders and they didn’t belong. They felt like “others.” But they were not the only ones feeling the same they did. They all felt alone and that they didn’t belong with each other, when everyone was the same. While they may not all look the same or come from the same place, they all share the same feelings of being in a new place. Feeling like an “other” or being identified as one creates an unnecessary separation between people because they didn’t check the same boxes as each other. Since they are different, they should be categorized as such. There are various positive reasons to have different groups of people, the word “other” creates a harmful separation between “others” and “natives.” At the end of the novel, an old women who has lived in her home her whole life explains who she feels that she has migrated because of all the new people moving in and out of her neighborhood, “We are all migrants through time,” (209). Everyone changes and goes though experiences that define who they are. Those defining experiences should not end up making them an “other.” The whole idea of being an “other” is still a little tricky to me, so I have a question. If we have all checked the “other” box, why do we create separation from people who have done the same?

3 thoughts on “Are We All “Others”?

  1. LUKE L

    I would agree, I think we are all others in some aspect. Whether it’s our nationality, ethnicity, race, etc. To someone we can be in or out of the group.



    I agree that we are all technically different than someone as far as location, race, gender, and nationality. Also at one point in time, we are all migrants, whether it is moving to a new house or even going to college. But it is very rare that in our life that we stay in one city our whole entire life. Also, I honestly agree that we as individuals do not want to stay in the same location our whole life.


  3. ryan c

    I like how you brought the idea that we are all different. We come from different backgrounds, different races, religions, cultures, yet we are all the same species living on the same planet. The only thing stopping us from realizing we are the same is our perspectives and mindset.


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