Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Defining a Homeland

Salman Rushdie made several crucial points in defining a homeland and describing it accurately. In his article, “Imaginary Homelands”, he described the need for our society to redefine the world in which they live and get rid of restrictions and limitations. I found Rushdie’s title to be one of the most interesting aspects of his work. I began to think what an “imaginary homeland” might imply. I think that Rushdie is implying that our so-called homeland cannot be a home unless we can co-exist with one another and find a significant balance between our past and our present. Rushdie wants to close the gap between the “insider” and the “outsider”. That being said, he emphasizes that the more we understand our past the more we can benefit in reality. Both the past and the present are crucial in defining a homeland. A person may have been uprooted from their homeland but their present-day reality cannot exist without those original roots.
This concept is wonderfully portrayed in Chandra’s character, Jago Antia. After leaving his homeland, Jago later realizes that he must come to terms with his past in order to proceed into the future. Jago’s life can be compared to Rushdie’s image of the broken mirror (11). His memories, thoughts, and dreams have been fragmented and formulated into a mosaic portrayal of his life. The entirety of Jago’s past has formed him into the man he is today. Rushdie is urging us to open up our boundaries and allow ourselves to recognize the freedom we have been granted.
This article perfectly sums up the crucial concepts for identifying a homeland. A home is not a mere location but rather a satisfaction within oneself that can only be discovered through the balance of past and present. Through experience and distance, we will begin to understand our past and use this understanding to move into the future.

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