What is Trust?

“I feel lost inside myself”

Trust holds much meaning. To feel trust towards someone is almost akin to feeling love. The movie “Trust” is an exemplary example of this comparison. To feel lost in life, but to then find someone who shares that same sense of hopelessness, a partner with whom you can put your trust in. Maria and Matthew are both lost; they don’t share the same predicament, only the feelings that result from them. When they find one another, it seems like they won’t work at first, like they are both too “broken” to balance each other out. However, exactly the opposite occurs. The two people that feel as if they are in an inescapable, sorrowful pit of despair find someone who feels the exact same way, making them feel less alone.

“People do strange things sometimes, when they feel hopeless”

The movie is one big trick. Once Maria and Matthew realize the mutual benefits they provide to one another, it is too late. They found each other at the right moment, but it wasn’t meant to last. From the very beginning, their outlooks on life differed too much, their values clash. They bonded over their shared anguish and desperation towards themselves and their lives, but that is all it was meant to be.

How do you know if you are compatible as lovers

Throughout the book Exit West, we see Nadia and Saeed grow together throughout their very long and tiring journey. They start at square one and from there slowly build their relationship as they continue forward. They face many hardships and many challenges along the way yet they always make sure that they stay together. Even though they stayed lovers throughout the whole journey in the end they still only ended up being friends. Their relationship was never built around love but rather the idea that they felt they had to stay together to survive. In the story, it was said, “But while fear was part of what kept them together for those first few months in Marin, more powerful than fear was the desire that each see the other find firmer footing before they let go, and thus in the end their relationship did in some senses come to resemble that of siblings, in that friendship was its strongest element, and unlike many passions, theirs managed to cool slowly, without curdling into its reverse, anger, except intermittently¨(204). The elements of the relationship were more of a best friend or sibling type of correlation and really never resembled lovers. What interests me is why they didn´t realize this earlier. From the start of the book, you could tell that some of their morals and beliefs were different and I think that is what really separates people, is the things that they believe in and have passion for. I think that this can have a big correlation to society now. So many people get divorced now because they realized that they are much better off as friends rather than lovers. But how do you realize this so early? It’s a tough thing to do definitely because it takes time to really get to know someone and realize if they are really the one for you. In my opinion, people now should start getting married at a later age and just date their lover for a longer amount of time until they know if they are a real true love or if they are just a really good friend in the end. This will help lower the insanely high divorce rate that we have currently. Nadia and Saeed are an example of this idea that you can be so close with someone that you love them, but not a lover way, rather more as a friendship way.

Couple Problems

While reading Exit West, I thought that this story was going to end with a simple happy ending. Where the two main characters fall in love despite all the problems going on and live happily ever after. But Hamid took a different route in writing this story. As a reader, it was sad but not truly surprising to see the falling out of Saeed and Nadia. Throughout the book, it started to become clear about the relationship problems both of the characters were having. As time went on, they just realized that they were not meant for each other.

The time where I knew the relationship was coming to an end was when they began to take time apart from each other. The sad truth about this is, time apart doesn’t mend a relationship, but only makes it worse. When a problem occurs, you don’t give the problem some space and hopefully when you come back it will be resolved. This is a big reason why there was a downfall between Nadia and Saeed. You can never truly fix any sort of problem with time and space. That’s one quick way to more problems.

Immigration Nation

The United States is a country with a checkered past with regards to immigration. From Columbus’s treatment of Native Americans to the border wall, this country has both been attacked by migrants and then attacked migrants. The world currently lives in a refugee crisis, where people seeking a peaceful place to live away from the persecution of their own countries have fled to parts of the world that don’t want them. In Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West, this is taken to a new extreme when magical doors appear around the globe that transport migrants away from their home countries. This allows the migration process to speed up rapidly, and simultaneously the discrimination against them to rise.

Why does this discrimination exist? Why have immigrants turned themselves into natives, and now discriminate against others who are trying to do what they once did? It boils down to a few things: nativism and “the other”. In Exit West, this appears when some of the Londoners protest the influx of migrants in Chapter 7. This is an example of nativism, and its existence in the United States is oddly paradoxical. Since it is a nation made of mostly immigrants, how can nativism exist? Wouldn’t the nativism necessarily persecute those who are promoting it the most?

The idea of “the other” is also prevalent in both Exit West and the current refugee crisis. In the novel, the London government plans to set up a “halo city” for the migrants. By separating the migrants from “regular” Londoners, they inherently “otherize” them. “The other” also embodies why the nativist mob exists in the first place: they are fearful of the changing landscape of their city and what the migrants might bring with them (culture, violence…), resulting in acts of violence.

Nativism and “the other” are powerful forces acting on everybody. People are fearful of that which is different, so violence occurs. The solution is to find, through conversation, that the two sides are, in reality, not all that different.

Love and Migration

In Exit West, we meet two protagonists who are almost foils of each other. Saeed was raised on faith and is attached to his family – he learned how to pray from a young age and lived at home as long as he could. Nadia moved out of her family’s home at the first chance she got – which, as an unmarried woman in this country, is extremely risky. She wears a full-length robe not to practice her religion, but “so men don’t f–ck with me” (17).

“The following evening helicopters filled the sky … Saeed watched them with his parents from their balcony. Nadia watched them from her rooftop, alone.”

Page 35

Why Saeed would think he is compatible with a partner like Nadia is, at first, confusing. However, as their country gets more war-torn, it is clear that every civilian needs to seek refuge in another country. Coming from a man with such an honest background, in a country on the brink of civil war, Saeed’s first impressions of Nadia are simply: wow.

“He watched as she walked out to the student parking area and there, instead of covering her head with a black cloth, she donned a black motorcycle helmet … and rode off, disappearing with a controlled rumble into the gathering dusk.”

Page 5

Saeed is bewildered by Nadia’s confidence during times of extreme turmoil. And throughout Exit West, their journey across the globe escaping this turmoil brings them closer together as they depend on each other to find their footing in new situations — Saeed without his parents, and Nadia as an independent woman in a new country.