Scott Russell Sanders Staying Put Essay

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.

 From Sanders (Literature/Indiana University; Secrets of the Universe, 1991, etc.): lessons on learning to be at home in a place, in a marriage, and in a house that are textually rich though not startling in their insights. In eight pieces (some of which have previously appeared in The North American Review, The Gettysburg Review, and The American Voice), Sanders examines his preference for fashioning a life that's ``firmly grounded in household and community, in knowledge of place, in awareness of nature, and in contract with that source from which all things arise.'' It's a preference that runs counter to ``our impulse to wander, to pick up and move--mobility is the rule in human history, rootedness the exception.'' The author-- who's especially adept at finding the right quote--draws on sources as far-ranging as the Bible, Lao-tzu, Wendell Berry, and, of course, Thoreau to make his case. Home is Bloomington, Indiana, a town set in a landscape ``embraced in the watershed of the Ohio River.'' In ``After the Flood'' and ``The Force of Moving Water,'' Sanders poignantly recalls his childhood in an area that was subsequently submerged when a tributary of the Ohio was dammed, and he discusses the history of the river itself, long a waterway for Native Americans, explorers, and entrepreneurs, as well as a passage for more tonnage than either the Suez or Panama canals. But underlying this affirmation of place is the author's even more sublime and ancient search for our place in the scheme of things--a search that Sanders sensitively describes in ``Earth's Body'' and ``Telling the Holy'' as he recounts his fear of dying--the terrifying ``pit that is the square root of nowhere and nothing''- -and the consolation to be found in a sense of ``primal unity.'' Graceful prose that comfortingly reaffirms the familiar without any shock of the new.

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