“…each of their doors, regarded thus with a twinge of irrational possibility, became partially animate as well, an object with a subtle power to mock, to mock the desires of those who desired to go far away, whispering silently from its door frame that such dreams were the dreams of fools.” 

Throughout the novel, a series of magic doors are what make migration possible, and this quotation from Chapter Four emphasizes the hope that often accompanies a desire for movement. The doors that remain basic passageways between one room and the next heighten people’s sense of desperation as they yearn for the possibility of escaping to a better life. The fact that Hamid uses such an ordinary object as a source of global mobility hints at the idea that borders are not as complex or impassable as they may seem.

"It was said in those days that the passage was both like dying and being born, and indeed Nadia experienced a kind of extinguishing as she entered the blackness and a gasping struggle as she fought to exit it."

This quotation, which appears in Chapter Six, describes Nadia’s experience as she passes through the door that allows her to escape from her country to Mykonos, Greece. Comparing the process of migration to life and death emphasizes the significant extent to which refugees must create a new life for themselves once they reach their destination. The person that Nadia was in her home country essentially disappears the moment she leaves, and her new environment will force her to adapt into a different person than the woman Saeed initially fell in love with. Referencing the “blackness” of the door also emphasizes the idea that uncertainty is an inevitable component of migration.

“Also they spoke different variations of English, different Englishes, and so when Nadia gave voice to an idea or opinion among them, she did not need to fear that her views could not be comprehended, for her English was like theirs, one among many.” 

In Chapter Eight, Nadia finds herself becoming a part of the leadership council forming within their London house, one made up of primarily Nigerian refugees. While Saeed has anxiety about the fact that few people in the house come from a similar cultural background to his, Nadia embraces the refugees’ differences and finds common ground through their shared experience of migration. The blend of “Englishes” that characterizes the council’s meetings reflect the way in which globalization reduces barriers between different nationalities or cultures, and Hamid suggests that allowing movement across borders will enhance this connectivity.