Comparing Home In Richard Ford's I Must Be Going And Scott Sander's Homeplace

955 words - 4 pages

Comparing Home in Richard Ford's I Must Be Going and Scott Sander's Homeplace

Most people define home as a comfortable setting which provides love and warmth. In Scott Sanders “Homeplace” and Richard Ford’s “I Must Be Going” the concept of home is defined in two different ways. Sanders believes that by moving from place to place, the meaning of home has been diminished. Sanders believes that America’s culture “nudges everyone into motion” (Sanders 103) and that his “longing to become an inhabitant rather than a drifter” (103) is what sets him apart from everyone else. Ford prefers to stay on the move. His argument is life’s too short to settle in one place. He believes home is where you make it, but permanence is not a requirement.

Sanders argues that “in our national mythology, the worst fate is to be trapped on a farm, in a village, or in some unglamorous marriage” (Sanders 102). Ford is a prime example of someone who believes this myth. In all of Ford’s moves from place to place, he has been in search of something better. He says that all of his moving is a result of “longing that overtakes me like a fast car on the freeway and makes me willing to withstand a feeling of personal temporariness” (Ford 109). Ford acts on his feelings without realizing that he will only be there for a short time. Sanders associates yearning for some other place as being wrong. He quotes Henry Thoreau saying, “The man who is often thinking that it is better to be somewhere else than where he is excommunicates himself” (104). Ford does believe staying in one place is normal, “One never moves without an uneasiness that staying is the norm” (110). However, Ford blames growing up in Jackson, Mississippi as his reason for willingness to move from one spot. He believed “that the world outside of there was the more magical, exotic place and that’s what you needed to see” (110). Sanders has a different opinion of moving just to see other places. Sanders believes that in order to know a place one must “root” themselves into it. Sanders proposes that “if you are not yourself placed, then you wander the world like a sightseer, a collector of sensations, with no gauge for measuring what you see” (103). Ford has a different feeling. He believes that seeing all of these places creates memory, and imagination of these other places just provides an illusion of what is really going on in the world. He says, “Memory always needs replenishing, and anyway you misunderstand imagination and how it thrives in us by extending...

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