An Individuals Interaction with the World Around Them Can Enrich or Limit Their Sense of Belonging Essay
‘An individual’s interaction with others and the world around them can limit or enrich their experience of belonging - An Individuals Interaction with the World Around Them Can Enrich or Limit Their Sense of Belonging Essay introduction. ’ Belonging is central to how we define ourselves: our belonging to or connection emerges from interaction with people and places. Belonging is a distinct identity characterised by affiliation, acceptance and association. Belonging is shaped by personal, cultural, historical and social contexts. By increasing their understanding of themselves and the world around them they can limit or enrich their experience of belonging.
These judgements are epitomised in Peter Skrzynecki’s Immigrant Chronicle’s, a collection of poems that consists of 10 Mary Street and Migrant Hostel, which detail the migrant experience and the barriers which limited their experience of belonging. Contrasting perceptions of belonging are presented in the well profound novel Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta which highlights the limitations in belonging due to racial difficulties encountered within society. Skrzynecki’s poem 10 Mary Street tells the story of the house that Peter and his mother Kornelia and his father Feliks moved into in 1951, after arriving in Australia from Germany.
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It also features an in-depth description of his childhood in relation to living at 10 Mary street. Also included in this poem is the description of the connection that Peter has with his parents. A reoccurring theme of time is present throughout the poem 10 Mary Street. This is shown with the constant repetition of the line “for nineteen years”. The use of this repetition allow us to engage as to how long Peter had stayed at the house as well as to reinforce the long period of time in which he had enriched his experience of belonging to the house as well as his parents.
The garden is also an important aspect of their lives, where the poet’s parents “watered plants – grew potatoes… like adopted children”, stressing their strong connection to the home. To Peter, who was a child himself, the garden was a source of nourishment, and he ravages it “like a hungry bird”, eating from its fruit until he is “bursting at the seams”, a colloquial term that reinforces the sense of change and assimilation with the world around them enriching their experience of belonging.
Ultimately, it is evident that an individual’s interaction with others and the world around them can enrich their experience of belonging, which is showed in Peter Skrzynecki’s 10 Mary Street. Migrant Hostel depicts the loss of cultural identity common to migrants and the accompanying feelings of depression and alienation generated by this loss which in turn limits their experience of belonging. This poem also reflects the context of the post-world war 2 influx of migrants from Europe’s war-torn countries and the racism directed at migrants that was encouraged by the White Australia Policy.
A loss of identity is evident from the first stanza, where a sense of uncertainty, expressed in the line “sudden departures… who would be coming next”, permeates the poem. These lines highlight the loss of control and certainty in the migrants life, and the fear of the unknown as no warning was given before the departure of the fellow migrants. The emotional instability of the migrants is also expressed through the alliterative ‘h’ in “memories of hunger and hate”, which suggests a heaviness of peoples spirits and hearts, endangered by their memories of the past limiting their sense of belonging.
The simile, “like a homing pigeon… circling to get its bearings” also illustrates the migrants feelings of a limited sense of belonging, uncertainty and emotional disorientation in the face of their journey and tenure at the hostel. Therefore, we can see that an individual’s interaction with others and the world around them can limit their experience of belonging, which can be seen throughout Peter Skrzynecki’s Migrant Hostel.
While Skrzynecki’s obscure situation of poetry deals with complications to interact with others and the world around him to enrich his sense of belonging, the sense of having a limited sense of belonging is aroused in the novel Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta, and this is due to the social barriers Josephine experiences. She examines the difficulties faced between ones self in order to try and assimilate within the community and try and enrich her sense of belonging. It centres around belonging within her culture, her family and her friends, but also the issue of not belonging within her school.
We see that she struggles to fit in her school, because of the differences there is between her and her peers. One of which that she is of Italian background, while they are predominantly Anglo-Saxon and she is also not as classy or as wealthy as they are. As quoted from the novel through the use of direct speech “at St. Martha’s its all about money, prestige and what your father does for a living. I’m surrounded by girls whose father’s treat them like princesses… they think that they have everything, and you know what?
They do. ” This ultimately depicts that she does not belong inside her school. She distances and alienates herself from her peers who fall into this category, limiting her sense of belonging to them, showing her anti-social behaviour due to her social barriers. Therefore, we can see that one can either belong or not belong by interacting with the people and the world around them, which Josephine hasn’t done in Melina Marchetta’s Looking For Alibrandi thus causing her to have a limited sense of belonging.
Thus, in conclusion, Peter Skrzynecki’s Immigrant Chronicles and Melina Marchetta’s Looking For Alibrandi, both depict that an individual’s interaction with others and the world around them can limit or enrich their experience of belonging. They also show that belonging may be diminished when one feels emotionally redundant and alienated, by those around him or her, enhancing the displacement of an individual from their place of comfort.