In the novel Exit West, the author Mohsin Hamid uses doors as a way of transportation. In an interview with Hamid, he explains that a large reason on why he added this element, of long distance transportation through a door, into the story was to help the story focus on the before and after travel, and not on the actual transportation. The reader first experiences how a magical door works when Nadia enters one to leave the chaos of her hometown: “Nadia experienced a kind of extinguishing as she entered the blackness and a gasping struggle as she fought to exit it, and she felt cold and bruised and damp as she lay on the floor of the room at the other side, trembling and too spent to stand”(104). Nadia is repeatedly demonstrated as a strong-willed character previous to this event, but something about the transportation through a door weakens her, and then Saeed who follows behind her. This raises the question of why the door saps away the strength of a character.
I believe that if could mean several things but the following are my theories:
1) The effects felt by the characters are simply the effects of travel, as one is often tired and disorientated after traveling via airplane or on a road trip.
2) The effects felt by the character are a foreshadowing of where they will end up and the experiences they will have there.
3) The effects felt by the characters are a type of punishment for using shortened and easier travel, when regular travel is still available.
4) The effects felt by the characters are a side-effect of an experience they had when traveling through the door.
These are the theories that I thought made since. I believe there has to be some reasoning behind it as he could have easily made the process harmless, considering he created the idea.