A Sense of Belonging in Literature

This is reflected through the anthology, “Immigrant chronicle” written by the Australian-Polish poet, Peter Skrzynecki. Through his knowledge but mainly his own experiences, Skrzynecki conveys the difficulties of belonging, not belonging and the barriers which prevent belonging. He has shown us how valuable a sense of belonging is to a foreigner, as it can emotionally alienate you from your family as w ell as battling to keep up with the forever changing society, famously remembered in the poem ‘Feliks Skrzynecki’.

Similarly, in the dystopian novel “A clockwork orange” written by the English author Anthony Burgess, Alex is a criminal who doesn’t belong anywhere within society.

Moreover, the two thousand and three children’s Pixar film “Finding Nemo” directed by the American, Andrew Stanton, shows the emotional discomfort of the protagonist, Nemo when he is captured and fretful Marlin as he incautiously journeys through the unknown waters to find his son. As we’ve noticed the notions of belonging and what it can provide us emotionally, the eulogy ‘Feliks Skrzynecki’ depicts the dissatisfaction of not belonging.

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Although the very first line of the poem, “my gentle father” shows a sign of acceptance and admiration of his father, Skrzynecki’s overall statement shows resentment, dissatisfaction and alienation, “Watched me pegging my tents further and further south of Hadrians Wall”, Hadrians Wall used as a symbol comparing the differences of his culture and heritage with his father. Likewise the poem ’Migrant hostel’ was written in Parkes, 1949-51, which happened to be during the time of ‘White Australia’ policy.

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The fact Skrzynecki wrote this poem in ‘Parkes’ he was only further alienating him from where he is and it creates a barrier to society which can damage him emotionally. The first stanza Skrzynecki expresses isolation, dehumanisation, uncertainty and curiosity. That was the environment Skrzynecki lived in for two years. “Like a homing pigeon” Skrzynecki lived in the chaotic hostel crossing paths with the people he shared a room with. The hostel became a place for everyone to rest which formed a sense of belonging as the reason why they are there together was driven “By memories of hunger and hate”.

To belong is to form a connection which will allow a sense of identity, without this we inevitably lose our humanity, individuality, and the sense of freedom. This notion is elaborated within the novel, A Clockwork Orange, where the government attempts to suppress his criminality by physically preventing him from thinking of violence, making him conform to their standards. Equally, this conception is portrayed in the poem, ‘St Patricks College’. St Patricks College referred to as a microcosm of Alex’s futuristic city of London.

Skrzynecki’s ironic imagery of “Our lady watched with outstretched arms, her face covered with clouds” and later our lady still “watching above unchanged by 8 years weather” not only questions the stability of concrete statues but imitates the similar involvements of Alex and the governments projects. This restricts Skrzyneckis potential to find a sense of identity as he is held in by Mother Mary with “outstretched arms”. Similarly, Alex unknowingly got brainwashed and lost his identity, resulting with Alex revolving into a ‘Clockwork Orange’.

The loss of identity and individuality in both the novel and poem reinforces the impact a sense of not belonging can have on any human being. Finding Nemo is a complete portrayal of belonging and the fulfilment of emotional needs. The movie started off with a long shot, the whole scene capturing a sense of familial belonging between mother and father, very touchy, whilst looking lovingly over their eggs. After the incident with the barracuda, Marlin’s been scarred for life and becomes obsessed with protecting his surviving son Nemo from physical danger, immediately forming a sense of unity.

Similarly, a dark and foreboding representation of a blockage for Marlin, the fish on the rock perhaps a symbol for his fears of what happened to Nemo. This representation is strengthened by the distant camera shot reflecting on Marlins detached connection with Nemo. A mixture of the notion of belonging and the act of over protection may lead to major conflicts and disagreements as the connections with whom you belong to continues to progress. This may result in defiance and the consequence can be much more unexpected than usual. Likewise, when Marlin appears and distrustfully gets in Nemos face or even approaching open water, he insults his son by once again denigrating Nemo’s swimming abilities. Nemo defiantly swims out to the “butt” and promptly slaps his fin on the boat after he’s been told by his father “If you put one fin on that boat…”. Nemo soon after realises his rebellious act was yet to be paid for as he get scooped up by a scuba diver and placed in a dentist’s fish tank. When Nemo and Marlin reunited, Marlin is given a second chance at parenthood. He allows more space, freedom, trust and respect, in return Marlin receives Nemo’s trust, forgiveness and love.

We have noticed how a sense of belonging can fulfil such deep emotions, along with the ability of curing a damaged connection. Ultimately, a method to fulfil ones emotional needs can be achieved through a sense of belonging. This is shown in the anthology, “Immigrant Chronicle” written by Peter Skrzynecki, which highlights the significance of belonging. Likewise, the text “Clockwork Orange” written by Anthony Burgess depicts similar aspects of not belonging. Finally, the Pixar film “Finding Nemo” directed by Andrew Stanton portrays the different a possibilities that may come with defiance of experience, trust and belonging.

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A Sense of Belonging in Literature. (2018, Oct 24). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/a-sense-of-belonging-in-literature-essay

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