Belonging - Part 8
Belonging means different things to different people - Belonging introduction. The most common definition is feeling a sense of connectedness to a person, place or thing. Understanding nourishes belonging while a lack of understanding can prevent people from belonging. This is shown through Peter Skrzynecki’s poem ‘Migrant hostel’ which is about the challenges faced by travelers on their journey, and the hardships they have to overcome by exchanging their old world for the unfamiliar and unwelcoming new world in which they don’t understand anything.
Skrzynecki’s poem ‘Feliks Skryznecki’ explores a relationship between father and son, and their contrasting experiences of belonging to a new place. The related text, ‘The Red Tree,’ by Shaun Tan also shows that a lack of understanding can prevent belonging, whereas increasing understanding can lead to a sense of knowing your place in the world and knowing where you belong. Understanding nourishes belonging. This is shown in the poem ‘Migrant Hostel’ by Peter Skryznecki because the poet feels that he belongs to the group of migrants living together in the hostel and that he feels a connection to them because of shared experiences .
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He feels that they understand him. This is shown through the use of the personal pronoun ‘we’ and ‘us’. This shows that if a person understands what another person is going through or is feeling then a sense of belonging is created. However a lack of understanding that prevents belonging is shown through the migrants and how they are treated differently from mainstream society. Peter Skryznecki is commenting that the migrants were treated this way because mainstream society did not understand what the migrants had been through.
Also the migrants don’t understand the way Australia works or the way of life and so we see how a lack of understanding can prevent belonging. In the poem, the migrants are kept separate from society. This is shown through the use of the simile “as it rose and fell like a finger” which shows how the migrants were controlled by bureaucracy and not allowed to learn the necessary skills needed to nourish belonging. Thus we see how understanding nourishes belonging while a lack of understanding can prevent people from belonging.
Similarly, in the poem ‘Feliks Skryznecki’ by Peter Skryznecki we are shown how understanding nourishes belonging while a lack of understanding can prevent people from belonging. Feliks is shown to understand and belong to his friends and to Polish culture. His friends allow him to establish a greater connection to his past and to keep his memories alive and this is shown through the quote “talking, they reminisced. ” However, the sense of belonging to his friends excludes the poet as he cannot speak the language nor does he understand the traditions and why they are this way. Always shook hands too violently” shows how the older and younger generations have different traditions and ways of understanding each other. The use of the simile “After that, like a dumb prophet, watched me pegging my tents Further and further south of Hadrian’s Wall,” Shows the generational gap between the poet and his father and how because the poet was unable to understand the traditions and cultures of his father he was unable to feel a sense of belonging with him. Similarly the picture book “The Red Tree” by Shaun Tan shows how understanding nourishes belonging while a lack of understanding can prevent people from belonging.
The girl is portrayed as not understanding the world around her. She does not know where she belongs or who she is, and because of this she is depressed and lonely. She is shown as trying to find where she belongs and throughout the journey understands new concepts of belonging that she hadn’t thought of before and is therefore able to find where she belongs. On the last page the girl has found where she belongs and she is happy. She finally understands that belonging can mean various things and she is able to understand where she belongs and it is familiar “just as you imagined it would be” and she is finally happy.
The girl is looking up; looking forward to the future. On the last page the use of vibrant colours symbolizes that the girl has found her place of belonging and that she now believes in hope as she is looking up. Thus we see that a sense of understanding nourishes a feeling of belonging while a lack of understanding can prevent people from feeling a sense of belonging. This is shown through Peter Skrzynecki’s poems ‘Migrant hostel’ and ‘Feliks Skryznecki’ and the related text ‘The Red Tree’ by Shaun Tan.