Scott Russell Sanders, author of Staying Put: Making a Home in a Restless World, believes that inhabiting places permanently benefits our society and community as a whole. In response to Salman Rushdie’s essay about the advantage of migrating, Sanders uses historical reference, and sarcasm to develop his perspective about moving. Firstly, not only does Sanders integrates historical reference into his writing to give the reader background, but also to show examples of times in history when moving worsened a region.
He also includes the Spanish, New World, and American history to show that moving did not only destroy one specific place, but all. Claiming that “The Spaniards devastated Central and South America by imposing on this new world of the old,” Sanders speaks his opinion on nomadism using historical background. Disturbed by the mass number of people who migrate, Sanders argues that one not only hurts his or her self by moving, but also upsets the setting and environment around them.
Including “The Dust Bowl of the 1930’s,” in his article, “which was caused not by drought but by the transfer into the Great Plains,” Sanders uses specific dates to further support his opinion. This also justifies his point by proving that because the people decided to relocate, they brought disaster upon themselves. This strategy of incorporating historical reference into the article provides the reader with proof and support on Sander’s opinion of migration. Scott Sanders also incorporates another strategy into his writing to help develop his view on migration: Sarcasm.
Ashamed by American’s desire to move, Sanders calls them “The nation of restless movers,” mocking that “Sailors, explorers, cowboys…,”all travelers depicted their first heroes. Furthermore, though people endlessly move from place to place, their “Promised Land” has “never been under our feet. ” Also present in his writing, the idea that Americans move for the slightest reasons such as “smoke from our neighbor’s chimney… the sky,” continues to scorn movers and their mindless fluctuation.
Clearly one can perceive the bitter sarcasm in Sanders tone in the beginning of his article that expresses his disdain towards migration. Moreover, by incorporating historical background, sarcasm, and juxtaposition in his writing, Scott Sanders presented his negative opinion on migration. Though bitter in the beginning, Sanders changes his tone by proposing both sides of the argument using juxtaposition. These strategies effectively helped Sanders show the reader his point of view on migration in response to Salman Rushdie’s view.