Security Blanket

The novel Exit West follows Saeed and Nadia, a young couple living in a country that is becoming more war-torn by the day. They then leave their country through magical doors, eventually ending up in Marin County, California. From the beginning of the story, it was evident that Saeed and Nadia would not have a normal relationship, but the lack of normalcy throughout the story allows for a deeper understanding of what it really means to be in a relationship.

As the story moves forward, Saeed and Nadia’s relationship blossoms, and after a certain amount of time, they are all the other has. Throughout the novel, we as readers are taken on the journey with Saeed and Nadia, and the narrative perspective, as well as the amount of descriptive detail, really puts you into the perspective of Saeed and Nadia. We see their arguments, their good moments, as well as aspects of their relationship that occur individually. Due to the nature of their country as well as their lives at the beginning of the story, the couple became a sense of security for each other, the one consistent thing in an ever-changing world. It is only when Saeed and Nadia individually develop their own rhythm that we see the couple’s dynamic change.

Due to their new jobs and meeting of new people, it is evident that Saeed and Nadia do not explicitly need each other anymore. Still, in a long-term relationship such as theirs, love and care can still be present even when other aspects of the relationship are not. Sometimes things do not work out, but dwelling on the past takes up space in the future. Exit West teaches us about endings in a way, and that oftentimes what we may see as the end may not be so. For example, at the end of the story, Saeed and Nadia reunited after decades, and after time apart we see the love and care is still present, “for they were former lovers, and they had not wounded each other so deeply as to have lost their ability to find a rhythm together”(230).

One thought on “Security Blanket

  1. lucas

    I agree, it seemed that the “love” faded after they did not need each other anymore. That opens up the question of whether it was really love or not. I feel as if they were just heavily comforted by each other and once they branched out and met new people they realized there was not really love.

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