The most important observation I made In Jasmine was Jasmine was, in a full package of mind, body, and spirit, at home with herself. I admired her way of letting America be whatever it wanted, depending on where she was and what kind of people she was with. Throughout the course of her experiences and struggles and triumphs with adapting to her surroundings, I found that she had a remarkable way of being herself, without feeling defeated, all while soaking up and experimenting with different viewpoints, personalities, and ways of life.
Throughout this course I have felt more inclined to question the meaning of home. I have realized that while, in the case of perhaps important relationships with others forming throughout my life, "home" will often choose me, but I have also realized that I can act very intentionally and choose my home or homes. Potiki was the first book that really struck me. I thought about the acts of the Maori people--and by acts I mean to give new definition to their actions and movements through life. The intention with which they gave the land and the family unit meaning was incredible. I hope that in even the most seemingly mundane of situations when I'm at home (literally) with family or friends, I may recognize life and beauty and define things as more than just objects or "assigned roles" that may often be taken for granted. I also think about Rushdie and the Auction of the Ruby Slippers made me confront the proposed irksome world in which everything is for sale. I was completely struck, especially as a Philosophy major who is most certainly a big-picture thinker, by Rushdie's analysis of the idea of an identity that is for sale. But at the same time I was not struck, because it is a very visible phenomenon is today's society. I felt empowered by Rushdie's essays to explore identity and homeland as something for which we can advocate an protect.
Lastly, reading Anzaldua has really helped me to answer the question "What do I do now?" and apply what I've learned throughout this class in some way. I loved her idea in the preface of writing as opening the locked places in oneself. I hope that I can utilize my love of writing to write about identity/home (which I wish was always written this way, because this class has helped me to see it as a single entity) in a way that is meaningful and expressive of myself.