"It made her sad to realize that in spite of their so often having the same reactions, the same feelings, they never would reach the same conclusions, because their respective aims in life were almost diametrically opposed."

Port and Kit Moresby are generally considered to be surrogates for Paul and Jane Bowles not only because they are known to have had a sexually open marriage but also because, like Kit and Port, their reactions to the desert and to travelling in Morocco are known to have differed substantially. In his interview with the Paris Review, Paul Bowles said of the novel's autobiographical elements: "The tale is entirely imaginary. Kit is not Jane, although I use some of Jane's characteristics in determining Kit's reactions to such a voyage. Obviously I thought of Port as a fictional extension of myself. But Port is certainly not Paul Bowles, any more than Kit is Jane."