When I was a boy, my heroes were always men on the move, with no fixed address: riverboat men from Mark Twain, mysterious cowboys from the movies, the hopped-up hipsters in Jack Kerouac`s On the Road.
To be mobile was brave, free, truly American. Who wanted to be the stay-at- home type, minding the ranch, with horizons and mental capacities shrinking like cheap laundry? Come back, Shane was my youthful thought, and take me with you!
Scott Sanders, one of America`s most thoughtful essayists, makes the opposite case in Staying Put, a collection of eight essays revolving around the thesis that loyalty to place has rewards for self, family, community and country that far outweigh the ``broadening of horizons`` one achieves by roving about. He particularly argues that today`s heroes need to be grounded in neighborhoods, where ecological awareness can grow out of intimacy with one`s home region, and social balance can grow out of stable families.
Sanders is a lyrical writer, and he tackles head-on those lyricists of exile such as John Berryman and Salman Rushdie, who present wandering as the 20th- century norm. This is the ``century of displaced persons,`` writes Rushdie; and poet Berryman wrote ``O really I don`t care where I live or have lived. / Wherever I am, young Sir, my wits about me, // memory blazing, I`ll cope & make do.``
But Sanders points out that for all his wits, Berryman in the end committed suicide; and Rushdie`s enthusiasm for contemporary migration isn`t logical. He observes that we have always been ``a wandering species,`` ever since ``we reared up on our hind legs and stared at the horizon. ... Mobility is the rule in human history, rootedness the exception.`` But rootedness is what we need most now.
Although Sanders doesn`t answer the question about whether we`re basically nomads or homebodies, he does make a cogent case that the future of our country depends on our settling down, sticking it out, making it work. He`s not so much an original thinker as a marshaler of arguments, an eloquent organizer of observations.
Thesis: In the article, Making a Home in a Restless World, Salman Rushdie idealizes the many benefits of migrants moving; however Scott R. Sanders discredits that "movement is inherently good" (Sanders 65). Sanders use of parallelism, anecdotes, diction, imagery, as well as his averse tone, strengthens his assertion to convince migrants that staying in their homelands can give them a sense of belonging without changing who they genuinely are.
Toulmin Model: Because "our promise land has always been over the ridge" many people have gotten comfortable with the idea of migration (Sanders 6-7); therefore, they have failed to realize the negative effects it brings along, since migrating causes damage to the land due to the need of more space to expand, which causes majority of of environment and culture to experience drastic changes such as new religion, economic systems, politics, diseases and severe weather (Sanders 52-57), unless immigrants can potentially benefit the land instead of adding on more damage.