Hello all, I am here to put forth my ideas about my perception of belonging via reading Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey, and The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do. But first off, what is Belonging? Belonging I feel, is when you have your mates around you, and you’re having a good time, knowing who everyone is, fitting in basically. But there can be other parts of belonging when you don’t really know people. For example, belonging to a school, but whilst belonging to it, you could still be bullied or harassed.
Whilst I was reading Jasper Jones, I came to notice that Carlie, the main character and narrator of this story, belonged to his own world inside his head, where he stores words, as if it’s a prize, but he cannot flaunt them, for the town is a mining town, and it would seem that he is trying to be better than them, just because he seeks education. But back to Charlie, he loves to read, and express his feelings on paper, where he can just dive into his own pool of creative ideas, and that’s where he truly feels he belongs.
Then I go over to The Happiest Refugee and delve into it’s bindings, and try to find out if Anh belonged in the Australian culture, and whilst there was was some ups and downs for him, he finally came to. He met a girl, they shared intimacy and he had his local sports footy club, where he belonged to both. But did Charlie feel as if he belonged to his family? I didn’t think so. His mother acted as if she she just had to put up with them, because of her secret love life from afar with another man.
She didn’t think they were worthy of her presence, and if you read the book, you could see the dialogue in which the mother and father had intensive arguments about not talking to each other, the father drifting away and just locking himself in his room. There is also a video which I think is interestign to watch, it was called Who do you think you are? And this episode was for Christine Anu’s family, and her search for her family heritage.
After she was famous and now considerably old, she is now just beginning to wonder who her other family members are, thinking she does not feel as if she belongs to anything, as she has no idea what her family was like. So they go off an an adventure, and discover the family members, and Christine get’s emotional for each member found, and it is a fascinating watch. But to her, as I said, to belong was for knowing who her family members were, what they did, what they acted like.
Now back to Anh, and his belonging to his football club, at first in school, some people tried to outcast him, make him feel bad, and that was one of the teachers for Anh’s classes, where they were supposed to make posters about how they hated the asian race, despite Anh being there. But I don’t think it phased him as much as the teacher wanted it to, in fact, he strived to make himself belong further, to make the teacher accept him, and he eventually did, but Anh didn’t feel right about it.
And there was one bit in the book, when a member from the other football side they were playing called him a ‘gook’, and Anh’s team mates heard him say that and went on to thump that player as much as they could every time he got the ball in his possession. So that showed his belonging to the team, whilst when they finish the match, they go off on their different ways a bit like Jasper Jones.
Now I don’t think Jasper Jones ever truly belonged to everyone, I don’t believe he had any friends, the whole town hated him, perhaps for his race, or the fact that he steals, and they then push all blame onto him. Then when Jasper found the horrifying scene in the glades, and came to Charlie for help, I think that is when he genuinely had someone to belong to, to confide in, to tell him things, to let it all out.
I mean, all the boys grudgingly admired his footy skills, and the girls were all wild about him in secret, but still nobody approached him, just as no one approached Charlie, and that is probably what compelled Jasper to knock on his window that night, to share with him all those things, to take the adventure together. This is my perception of belonging, and I will most likely never understand the concept of it completely, but I have typed out what I think of it, throughout the three texts that I have had to talk about.