I might as well go all the way then. Reading Wendell Berry for two decades has given me the impression that it is not possible to find home cooking in the suburbs. Suburbanites don’t faithfully make love; they have affairs or wished they did. Suburbanites only leave their homes by backing their SUVs out of their garages so that they don’t risk having to talk with their neighbors. They leave their TVs running for their pets.
It is all true. The suburbs are filled with people living in sin and driving in gas-guzzlers and microwaving frozen foods. It’s just that there are people like that living in Port William, too.
I believe it is not Wendell Berry’s intention to create this impression, though I think he sometimes does. He sometimes gives you the sense that you will find a more honest and natural kind of person, if you will only abandon the suburbs and become an agrarian. Perhaps you will. Actually, I’m sure you will. But in doing so you will become the very kind of person Wendell Berry disdains the most. The kind of person who abandons community in search of something better.
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