Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West: Co-Opting Refugees into Global Capitalism

Sercan Hamza Bağlama


In Exit West, Mohsin Hamid fictionally reimagines and universalises migrant/refugee experience by providing a realistic snapshot of the social, cultural, economic and political circumstances in their specific historical forms and reveals the psychology of loss, displacement and unbelonging leading to the victimisation of the protagonists in a foreign land. In order to critically analyse the victimisation of the refugee characters at a linguistic level in relation to the narrative of the West about migration and refugees in the twenty-first century, this study will focus on Exit West and explore the development of the central bias against migrants and refugees construed through metaphorical delegitimisation and discursive stigmatisation within the framework of the dichotomous construction of “them” and “us”. Over the course of the study, through a critical reading of the novel, this study will also discuss that the social, cultural and economic interpellation of the refugee characters into the dominant system in a western country should be taken into account within the context of the depoliticisation process of the refugee “crisis” in the world since apolitical humanist arguments, unable to materialistically articulate the problems, reproduce the binary paradigms of the orientalist mind-set and practically perpetuate the cultural, social, ideological and economic domination of global capitalism.


Mohsin Hamid; Exit West; Refugees and Migrants; The Dichotomy of “them” and “us”; Victimisation; Interpellation

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