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“Timeless Tact Helps Sustain a Literary Traveller” by Geraldine Brooks Essay

“Timeless Tact Helps Sustain a Literary Traveller” (TTHSLT) by Geraldine Brooks should definitely be included in a booklet for year 12 students studying belonging. The text focuses on a plague-stricken Eyam who quarantine and sacrifice themselves for the wider community. It is suitable as it requires students to explore the ways in which the concept of belonging is represented in and through the text.

TTHSLT relates to belonging as it explores the impact on an individuals life when discovering the importance of accepting and acceptance in a community. This is evident in the lines “People say cities breed acceptance and diversity, but i didn’t learn that lesson there. It took a village to teach me tolerance and a measure of tact.” Being in a small village does not give you the luxury of avoiding those that you do not desire to see or hear of which tests an individuals capability to tolerate and accept. By being able to accept others, it reveals a sense of belonging as a community.

Geraldine Brooks uses first person which allows the audience to feel a personal connection with the composer and understand the personal feelings she had felt during the experience. This is evident in the interior monologue, “I had been a city personal all my life: my homes have been in the dense urban tangles of Sydney, New York, Cairo and London…I was much the same in all of them.”

This quote reveals some personal information about her life which makes it more relatable as she is a common person living in the city. Thus, this text is suitable as it gives students a greater understanding of perspective.

Belonging is also portrayed through the act of Eyam’s community making a dramatic decision to quarantine themselves to ensure the safety of others by keeping the infection within village bounds. The act of making the decision as a community shows a strong sense of belonging as they act as a whole. It also reveals their wider sense of belonging not only to their village community, but to others as well as they feel a moral sense of responsibility to accept their fate and not affect others.

In conclusion, I would include this text in a booklet for year 12 students studying belonging as it renders them to understand different perspectives about belonging and its importance. It also shows how the concept of belonging is conveyed through the representations of people, relationships, places, events, and societies that they encounter in the text.

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