Sanders and Rushdie Paper
“Americans are likely to share Rushdie’s enthusiasm for migration, for the ‘hybridity’ and the transformation that comes of new and expected combination of human beings and cultures. ” (27-31) Scott Russell Sanders does not agree with Salman Rushdie nor does he see the positives in migrating to a new place. He develops his views by showing how society has pushes migration all throughout history and explains all the potential harm that could come to environments and species. Sanders also takes the flaws from Rushdie’s argument and counters them.
Sanders explains how the very core of society is on the belief that “our promised land has always been over the next ridge or at the end of the trail, never under our feet. ” (6-8). He uses historical anecdotes to show that the human race has always had “restless movers” and that “this nation is comprised of those restless movers. ” (2-3). He reminds us the Spaniards devastated Central and South America because of their desire to discover new lands and conquer them. Sanders shows us that the Dust Bowl was caused by farmers bringing crops that were not suitable for the terrain.
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He compares the need to move and society’s worst fate to be “in some dead-end job or unglamorous marriage of played-out game” (15-17). Sanders explains that human are trained to believe that if they should “stand still, you die” (17). He shows us in this quote how society views resting in one place for too long. Sanders also informs his audience of the environmental and special harm that comes from migration. He explains of how “in [the northern] hemisphere, many of the worst abusers – of land, forests, animals, and communities – have been carried out by people who root themselves in ideas rather than places. (44-47).
Because of migration, Sanders argues, some of America’s worst tragedies have come. When colonists came to the new world, they brought with them “slavery, smallpox, and Norway rats” (55-56). Sanders states that the worst problems in history have come from the desire to see over the next horizon. He also argues that “our industry and commerce have been to force identical schemes onto differing locales. ” (60-61), as what had occurred in the 1930’s with the Dust Bowl. This specific tactic grabs at a person’s heart, and feels emotions that could potentially push someone away from the idea of migrating.
Throughout the passage Sanders takes quotes from Rushdie’s essay and challenges their worth. He counters Rushdie’s beliefs directly that “movement is inherently good, staying out is bad: that uprooting brings tolerance, while rootedness breeds intolerance…” (65-67). Sanders throughout the passage also undermines Rushdie and his views. He makes Rushdie look incompetent by taking the above quote and extending it. He repeats the same theme four times from lines 65-70, that moving is good. Sanders makes a point by not writing any of Rushdie’s examples, if he had any, in the passage.
He also makes the apparent point of including many examples in his own essay. Sanders does this to make Rushdie’s argument appear weak compared to his own. Sanders wants Americans to see the problems that come out of migration, and how “should we stay somewhere long enough, we might begin to pay enough heed and respect to where we are. ” (74-78). He takes Rushdie’s argument and challenged it greatly. He also gives historical evidence from society of the damage migration has on the planet and its occupants. Sanders warns humans how migration could end up destroying the entire world.