Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Homelands Analysis- 9/23

The three short pieces written by Rushdie, King, and Kolvenbach convey similar conceptualizations of an established "Homeland." Rushdie expresses his ever-present affinity and familiarity with his original homeland of Bombay before moving to England where he is forced to cultivate a new life for himself in an unfamiliar environment. Rushdie juxtaposes his relationship with India to those of other natives forced to leave for various reasons as history progressed. He describes their shared sense of affinity with Bombay as well as their latent desire to revisit or reclaim lost sentiments of familiarity. King writes from behind the bars of Birmingham Jail while orchestrating the civil rights movement. He describes in detail the severity of black oppression while indicating the burden it bears on African American citizens who suffer discrimination in what should be a homeland that ensures their freedom. Kolvenbach describes the various missions of the Jesuit order. Jesuits dedicate their livelihoods to service for others and actively involve themselves in various service projects to poor or impoverished areas. Doing so enables them to foster the lives of others while cultivating homelands for those they serve. All three authors utilize similar themes to describe those who live in a state of longing or deprevation and their desire to immerse themselves in a familiar and accommodating homeland.

Martin Luther King Jr. describes African American's feelings of abuse and marginalization, describing their very existence as a state of oppression based on the degree of racial tension prevalent in the South. King states, "oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The urge for freedom will eventually come. This is what has happened to the American Negro" (King 4). King elaborates by describing the collective sense of urgency expressed by oppressed African Americans to secure equal rights and privileges though the Civil Rights Moment's acts of peaceful protest. King states, "Consciously and unconsciously, he has been swept in by what the Germans call the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America, and the Caribbean, he is moving with a sense of cosmic urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. Recognizing this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand public demonstrations" (King 4). King describes participants of the movement as longing desperately to claim a homeland for themselves that actively supports their rights and interests. Similarly, Kolvenbach describes the society of Jesuits and their dedication to social justice in the ethnically diverse Silicon Valley. Jesuits embrace diversity and equality as hallmarks of social justice. Such views are expressed in the Silicon Valley area, which according to Kolvenbach is populated by various immigrants seeking to establish livelihoods for their families. He states, "thousands of immigrants arrive from everywhere: entrepreneurs from Europe, high-tech professionals from South Asia who staff the service indus­ tries as well as workers from Latin America and Southeast Asia who do the physical labor - thus, a remarkable ethnic, cultural and class diversity" (Kolvenbach 31). This excerpt describes the socioeconomic diversity of a prospering American region with an immigrant population congregating for the common purpose of establishing a homeland. Finally, Rusdie conveys his longing by describing his relationship with his homeland of Bombay. He states, "It may be that writers in my position, exiles or emigrants or expatriates, are haunted by some sense of loss, some urge to reclaim, to look back...we will, in short, create fictions, not actual cities or villages, but invisible ones, imaginary homelands, Indias of the mind" (Rushdie 10). This passage describes the profound affinity Indians express towards their homelands and how they attempt to mentally construct their conception of home while projecting it on their strange environment.

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