Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Portals to Homeland: Mirrors

In our Essay and class discussion we came to talking about mirrors. It was towards the end of class that we brought up the topic of how the author of our article, Rushdie, compared the homeland to a material object, a mirror of all things. Essentially this mirror was a metaphor for us and our homeland, together. When we look at our reflection we see the culture, our homeland starring back at us. Then our conversation took another approach. Rushdie himself states that the cracked mirror was more valuable than a whole one? Why? The answer is simple. When I look at this analogy, I see what we humans really are: unique individuals. The cracks in the mirrors represent different aspects of our own being. Perhaps it is our personal views, our hobbies, our differences with other people, but the crucial realization is that it does make us unique. What this tells us is that we can have a homeland, but ultimately we ourselves are each different in it.

This isn’t to say that this is a bad thing, just because our mirror is cracked does not disown the individual from the homeland. It means that the homeland is both uniquely perceived by the individual beholding it and that there are in fact many aspects to the homeland itself. Like the various cracks, a culture has religion, language, and many other factors that form to make it whole. Further, it is every individual that makes up the culture- but what this concept really raises is the idea of how the individual views the homeland. What this idea does is invite the viewer to rejoice in and accept their own view of their homeland. Like in Chandra’s Love and Longing in Bombay, a single homeland has many stories to tell. Whether one is a cop or a retired war veteran the individual will perceive the different aspects of their world with unduplicated eyes. Rushdie seems to be urging those he speaks to t to love their culture but not be dissuaded by the common crowd. Again the cracks represent differences which could easily be interpreted as views about the culture, so what this is saying is to accept the culture but accept oneself as well. Our differences after all define us from others that is what makes us human. What the mirror analogy brings to the table is the proclamation that one has the right to be free in their culture while still keeping it. That being different in itself is our own invisible homeland, our individual’s essence.

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