Are the Black Screens of Our Phones the Actual Magic Doors?

Mohsin Hamid in his novel Exit West feeds the readers the theme of escape. Whether through technology, drugs, or the mysterious magic doors, the people in the novel are constantly finding an escape of their perilous reality.

Although these mystical doors are unrealistic, they’re fascinating because they do something that seems so intangible; transport us to another part of the world in an instant. However, we have this power in something much smaller than a door; in our phones. Saeed and Nadia both use their phones – Nadia much more attached to hers than Saeed – to escape their reality. Phones are described to transport them to “places distant and near”, similar to the magical doors that end up physically taking them away from their homeland.

These doors aren’t such a foreign concept to us. As interested as I was by them, I came to the realization that something I use all throughout the day, does the same thing. Phones can transport us to places all around the world in more ways than one. We can purchase plane tickets off of them to physically take us to a different place or we can dive into a reality completely different than ours through videos, pictures, social media, etc. Whether they physically transport us or not, phones are an escape and can take us to different parts of the world in an instant; our own magic doors.