The Love from Migration

The official definition of migration is movement from one part of something to another. Human migration is the permanent change of residence by an individual or group. Throughout Exit West, Hamid explores the idea of migration and how it takes effect on the different characters in the novel. Migration in today’s world is a challenge unlike any other, leaving the comfort of your home country to find serenity and safety. Nadia and Saeed’s first migration they experienced was leaving their home and their father to Mykonos. The difference between Hamid’s idea of migration and the real world’s migration is that Hamid introduces the idea of these black doors that take a person from point A to point B within seconds. 

The toll migrating on Nadia and Saeed is unreal, each making promises to one another to protect each other and themselves. With that being said, they created a bond, a platonic love for one another. Disguising this love as romantic, Nadia and Saeed had to deal with the heaviness of moving from one part of the world to another area. Nadia and Saeed moved from different areas and adjusted their ways of life each and every time, dropping some true part of their personality for the sake of the other. The ultimate migration came at the end of the novel, when Nadia and Saeed realized it was time for themselves to relocate to cooperate with their happiness. The love they had for one another allowed for them to separate, to know and acknowledge each other for the rest of time if it just so happens. 

The Fall of Meursault

Throughout the reading of The Stranger, the idea of absurdism has been scattered throughout the text. Reading part one of the book, Camus focuses on the main idea of Meursault and lets the reader get to understand him. Describing him as a detached man, absurdism is connected deep within the text. Focusing on the big details and events that occur in his life, Meursault just seems to be an odd one in the bunch. Meursault’s failure to mourn over his mother’s casket and instead noticing details such as, “the screws on the casket had been tightened and that there were four men wearing black in the room”(14), shows that he lacks true human emotion. 

Meursault, lacking true human emotions, ties into the ideology of absurdism. Absurdism is the belief that humans live in a purposeless, chaotic universe and Meursault follows along with that idea mainly in part two of The Stranger. Part two mainly focuses on the repercussions of Meursault killing an Arab man and how the world reacts to such an unusual man. Society is not the absurd part of the story, Meursault the character is the absurd part of society. Since Meursault shares no emotions, no meaning for his own life, and the only certainty that he has in his life is a guarantee for death. For instance, when he knew of the death penalty that was to come of him, instead of repenting or acknowledging emotion he only, “to wish that there be a large crows of spectators the day of my execution, and that they greet me with cries of hate”(123). At this point, Meursault could care less about what is to come for him and only wishes that his death is filled with people. 

The Constant Funeral Face

In part one of The Stranger, it becomes clear that the main character is not like the common main character. Camus’ Meursault differs from the stereotypical idea of a main character, lacking morals and emotions. Meursault disconnects from the world through his not pessimistic view of the world, but his “who cares” view. Putting together possible explanations as I was reading through the pages, I found a quote that, to me, was a correct way to view his personality. “Marie made fun of me because, she said, I had on a ‘funeral face’”(47). Some readers may look right over that comment, however it stood out in particular. 

Throughout the previous chapters and the following chapters where that line takes place, it can be easily inferred that Meursault doesn’t understand and lacks knowledge about his surroundings. He walks into every room with a straight face and just agrees with what others around him are saying. Meursault struggles to locate his own emotions towards events, people, and places. Meursault acts as if he has no meaning or explanation to the everyday activities that he involves himself in, he just does them without any justification. 

Immediately after starting the first chapter of part one, I could pick up that Meursault was not a character in books I have read about before. Following his mother’s death, he had no reaction whatsoever. The first thought and concern he had was whether his boss would be mad at him for leaving work. Whether he is just an unemotional person or leaning more towards lacking morals and social cues, it still didn’t sit well with me. 

From the ending of part one, Meursault killing the Arab was just the beginning for the world and his “friends” to understand his lack of meaning and morals.