Exit West, by Moshin Hamid, is a story about doors opening around the world that can transport a person from one country to another. This phenomenon creates a migration apocalypse. Many people are moving to new countries which creates a lot of changing cultures and music. There is an old woman in Palo Alto who decides to stay in her childhood home as everyone else is moving. Even though she has decided to stay everything around her is changing, making her feel like a migrant in the only place she has ever lived. This Palo Alto Passage presents the theme of uncontrollable change. Everyone will experience change no matter if you migrate or not, and that change is unable to be stopped. Focusing on sentimental values and building community can make a healthy change. While focusing on monetary values will make the change bad.
In the 1990s film Trust, Maria is unable to truly reach radical subjectivity until she is no longer pregnant. It is almost impossible for her to detach herself from the world around her when she has something inside her depending on her to live. Her high school boyfriend is easily able to make her pregnancy a non-problem for himself because he is not physically attached to the pregnancy. While Maria has to put the baby into consideration until she decides to abort it. She could not just decide to ignore the pregnancy or decide that it didn’t matter because sooner or later she would need to give birth or have an abortion. Pregnant women like Maria have to go further than their male counterparts to be radical subjects.
In “Conversation About Bread,” two Black anthropology students from very different backgrounds are assigned to write an interesting story about each other and their region. Eldwin was raised in California and went to a multiethnic school where he learned to be unapologetically Black. Brian is from the south and feels that Californians have a false sense of superiority on the basis that they live in California. While both students attend the same PWI, their upbringing has led them to have extremely different experiences. Brian tends to cater to the white gaze, wanting to make sure that his story will make white audiences comfortable. Eldwin only notices the gaze when Brian is affected by it. Eldwin tries to write Brains’ story about Black southerners trying potato bread. Whether it was the first-person perspective or the way in which Eldwin wrote the story, it did not come off correctly. I think that this was because the story wasn’t coming from the person that it was about. Although both are “unicorns” at their school, these men were raised in completely different environments. Edwin’s unconscious bias about Black southerners is bound to sneak into the story when he isn’t a Black southerner himself. Brian’s input leads Eldwin to choose a new story about Brian to write, hopefully, a less biase one.
Benjamin’s theory is present when looking at U.S citizens’ attitudes toward immigration. Many U.S citizens have a negative attitude toward people trying to immigrate to the U.S. Since immigrants were not born in the United States, they are seen as other, or not the same, as U.S citizens. Their dehumanization through the separation of families and unfair treatment is seen as acceptable to many U.S. citizens because U.S. citizens do not view the immigrating people as humanely as they view themselves. There is no mutual recognition between the U.S citizen and the immigrant. They are othered through their different birthplace, language, and culture. Although there are some U.S citizens who advocate for better treatment of immigrants, which works toward mutual recognition, the fact that mistreatment still occurs shows that mutual recognition is not yet met.