Comparing Home in Richard Ford's I Must Be Going and Scott Sander's Homeplace

Comparing Home in Richard Ford's I Must Be Going and Scott Sander's Homeplace

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Comparing Home in Richard Ford's I Must Be Going and Scott Sander's Homeplace

Most people define home as a comfortable setting which provides love and warmth. In Scott Sanders “Homeplace” and Richard Ford’s “I Must Be Going” the concept of home is defined in two different ways. Sanders believes that by moving from place to place, the meaning of home has been diminished. Sanders believes that America’s culture “nudges everyone into motion” (Sanders 103) and that his “longing to become an inhabitant rather than a drifter” (103) is what sets him apart from everyone else. Ford prefers to stay on the move. His argument is life’s too short to settle in one place. He believes home is where you make it, but permanence is not a requirement.

Sanders argues that “in our national mythology, the worst fate is to be trapped on a farm, in a village, or in some unglamorous marriage” (Sanders 102). Ford is a prime example of someone who believes this myth. In all of Ford’s moves from place to place, he has been in search of something better. He says that all of his moving is a result of “longing that overtakes me like a fast car on the freeway and makes me willing to withstand a feeling of personal temporariness” (Ford 109). Ford acts on his feelings without realizing that he will only be there for a short time. Sanders associates yearning for some other place as being wrong. He quotes Henry Thoreau saying, “The man who is often thinking that it is better to be somewhere else than where he is excommunicates himself” (104). Ford does believe staying in one place is normal, “One never moves without an uneasiness that staying is the norm” (110). However, Ford blames growing up in Jackson, Mississippi as his reason for wil...


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...t people Rushdie mentions here. Ford is the person who “roots” himself in ideas because he is always looking for that special place but can never find it. Sanders would rather commit himself to one spot because he feels any one place is as good as any. Sanders gains this mentality based on the discoveries of Copernicus and that Earth is not the center of the universe. He believes, “any point is as good as any other for observing the world” (Sanders 103). Ford finds no truth in this statement as he continues to move “toward someplace we badly need to go” (Ford 111).

Works Cited

Sanders, Scott “Homeplace.” Seeing and Writing. Donald McQuade and Christine Mcquade. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2000. 101-104

Ford, Richard “I Must Be Going” Seeing and Writing. Donald McQuade and Christine McQuade. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000. 109-111

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