In class we often address the problem of attaining freedom and how one is able to become “free” through finding their true home or homeland. One of the most compelling quotes in the “Auction of the Ruby Slippers” may sum up the general idea and desire for a place called home. “Home has become such a scattered, damaged, various concept in our present travails. There is so much to yearn for. There are so few rainbows any more. How hard can we expect even a pair of magic shoes to work?...Are they literalists, or will they permit us to redefine the blessed word?”(93). For most of the semester we have been discussing how to find one’s home, but maybe our true home, the one we have always desired and dreamed about, is only attainable in our fictitious, imaginable world. Maybe, as a society who is constantly striving for perfection, we are unable to recognize the comfort in our present homes and thus we are constantly seeking for a bigger, better, home. Rushdie asks, “Are we asking, hoping for too much?” The real problem is not trying to attain freedom but how to live with the freedom we have been granted and grow in the homeland that was chosen for us.
This statement pretty much contradicts most of what we have been saying throughout the semester. It has been accepted that each individual must find their own home and create their own path but we have yet to consider the act of acceptance in order to gain freedom. If we place all of our hope for a better tomorrow into a “pair of magic slippers “, than we are bound to be disappointed. However, if we live in the here and now and address the reality of our lives, we may be able to achieve a greater happiness and a greater freedom than ever before. Rushdie’s Ruby Slippers story was one of the best stories I have read thus far. I think it perfectly captures the hopeless desires of all types of people to better themselves and better their futures. While watching the “Wizard of Oz” one can’t help but hope that they too may be granted one final wish to transform their lives into that perfect, fictitious portrayal they have always imagined. But the truth is that there is no magic wizard, cowardly lion, nurturing tin-man, good witch of the east or even magic, ruby slippers. We are simply left with the ability to accept our home for what it is and make the best out of the lives we have been blessed with. Instead of dreaming about some fictitious paradise we must work towards bettering ourselves and our homelands and maybe that is where true happiness and freedom lies.