In "Could This Be Paradise" by Steve Sanfield, did the man reach the intended destination? Explain.

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Could This Be Paradise by Steve Sanfield is the story of a man desperate to find meaning in his life. The man finds the everyday routine so uninspiring that he spends his days dreaming about Paradise and what it might be to the point that "the idea of Paradise filled his head." One day, the man decides that  "this was the day," although the day itself is just like any other day.

On his way to Paradise, the man passes all the familiar sights and pauses for only a moment before proceeding "sure he would never see it (the village) again." The man must rest for the night and, in his uncomplicated and predictable way, he ensures that he will set out in the right direction the next day by pointing his shoes that he has removed for the night, in the direction "he was sure Paradise lay."

The following morning, the man has no reason to be suspicious and puts on his shoes and proceeds in the direction his shoes are pointing - such as he had left them the night before. Unbeknown to him, a little "imp," whether to "punish him or to save him or to teach him a lesson or maybe just to play a joke on him," has turned his shoes to point back towards his village.

As the man is a man of habit, it does not occur to him to check his surroundings or question his location when he begins to see all the familiar sights. All he knows is that surprisingly, Paradise is "not much bigger than my own village." His disappointment is apparent but he continues anyway. He gets a little angry when everything in this paradise does not "shine and gleam." His anger is followed by sadness as even Paradise is predictable and he comes across a broken latch much like the one from his own village. 

The man is very confused that Paradise seems to even contain a family just like his own and "to this very day, the man sits.... trying to figure out whether he’s in Paradise." 

It us up to the reader to decide whether the man actually reaches his destination as he obviously returns to the same home he left. Appearances can certainly be deceiving and perhaps Paradise was right in front of his eyes all along.