Letting Go of Home

1107 Words5 Pages
The East has a preoccupation with losing their home and the West is on a quest to recover it. However, the West can accept that the home they seek may not exist anymore and imagine a future without it whereas the East can see no acceptable alternative. We can see this when we compare Salman Rushdie’s At The Auction of the Ruby Slippers (ATARS) to his The Prophet’s Hair.
The West is trying to reclaim the home they have lost and the East is trying to stop the home they have from slipping away. Both stories contain portraits of a better past. However, ATARS is referencing the past of the West, whereas The Prophet’s Hair is referencing the present of the East.
ATARS is related to the reader by a single character, as it happens, in the
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The Gale the narrator loves is not the real Gale, who he recently saw at the bar, but his idea of what their home would be if they had stayed together. He realizes this. In The Prophet’s Hair, the instinct of the family is to piece their home back together, not to move away from the destructive force of Hashim and The Prophet’s Hair. An alternative to family is never considered because the East cannot see a future without home. This seems like a trite observation, because it is likely that there is a reason they never considered leaving - a cultural reason. Perhaps it was unthinkable in their society for a family to desert its male leader, but this is exactly the point. They never consider an alternative because of the context of the culture.
The fact that the narrator of ATARS can see that his home may no longer exist, gives him the perspective to see an alternative, that the East cannot. The reason that the East cannot see the alternatives to its home that the West can is because that alternative is based on two ideas central to Western culture: freedom and the free market. ATARS ends with the narrator feeling a “reduction in weight”, “a floating” (102). The final passage is full of phrases which connote lightness: “weightlessness”, “float away” and letting go: “lie down [...] to rest” (102). The narrator finds resolution of his need for home in his freedom. The final passage of ATARS also
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