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The ideas of ‘Place and Displacement’ has conveyed through the poems ’10 Mary Street’ and ‘Migrant Hostel’ by Peter Skrzynecki, and the Ted talk ‘What does it mean to be a refugee’ directed by Biljana Labovic. Place means a sense of belonging of the person to a place, whereas, displacement means a sense of not belonging. From three different texts, techniques will be identified and analyzed the theme of place and displacement. The poem ’10 Mary Street’ by Peter Skrzynecki has instilled the idea of place from the eyes of young Peter looking at his family new life when they migrate to Australia.
In the first stanza, a sense of comfort is established. He has used the accumulation to reveal the ordinary daily activities they take part in, creating a sense of belonging. Simile and the monosyllabic sounds, such as, ‘shut’ and ‘lock’ brings up a sense of security. Following up, the technique of imagery when they hide the key under a rusty bucket is suggesting that the relative safety of the era.
Moving to the fourth stanza, the comfort of home and the belonging experienced are expressed. The enjambment effect has caused emphasis to fall heavily on, ‘We live together’. It is inclusive language when it’s using plural noun group and home is a place of togetherness.
The middle of stanza is written with accumulation effect, the images of sharing cultures and connection with people give a sense of belonging. Hence, these techniques allow the reader to see the bright sight of immigration’s life and to be sympathy with migrant for how they need to change to adapt in a new life.
Displacement is expressed through the poem ‘Migrant Hostel’ by Peter Skryznecki where the migrants are experiencing the physical and emotional journey. In the second stanza, it emphasizes the distance between different nationalities. The image of circling evokes a feeling of dizziness and dislocation.
Metaphor is conveyed in the last two lines of the stanza, hunger and hate create almost physical barriers for belonging. Words such as ‘partitioned’ is a figurative language suggesting separation, it’s also a barrier to connect or share experiences with different culture groups. Alliteration of the ‘h’ sound evokes the harshness of war-time experiences and prejudices. Abstract nouns also carry the strength of the forces that pull people apart. The last stanza highlights the lack of belonging in the Australian society.
The imagery technique represents a physical barrier interfere the migrants to feel settled in Australia. ‘Rose and fell like a finger’ the use of simile reinforces the image of the barrier rising and falling to allow certain people through create a feeling of alienation and discomfort. Contrast of ‘begun/dying’ demonstrates the little control of the migrants over their lives. Emotive language of dying is suggesting uncertainty about the future and a sense of belonging. Thus, throughout the poem, it has clearly explored the idea of displacement and it has brought up a realistic perspective of a migrant.
The TED talk, ‘What does it mean to be a refugee’ directed by Biljana Labovic has explored the idea of displacement through the information about refugees and their plight. Loneliness and isolation is caused by physical and emotional displacement. When the speaker mentions, ‘That persecution may be due to their race, religion and is often related to war and violence’, in the background, there was an image of a grey sky which is perceived as emotionless and pessimistic. While the sounds of the black birds are like crying miserably, the somber tone of music is the demonstration of loneliness, isolation and even depression. In contrast, whereas some people choose to attend the refugee journey with their families, others determined to come alone and reunite with their families later.
The visual technique of a girl standing lonely on the arid land, facing the wind refers to the feeling blue. It matches the sadness of the refugee with every word the speaker spoken. From watching the Ted talk, it creates the sympathy toward the watchers to the refugees because of how refugees are facing xenophobia and racism in their lives.
As we can see, the poem ’10 Mary Street’ by Peter Skryznecki has instilled the idea of place through the experience of migrating to Australia. Similarly, ‘Migrant Hostel’ by Peter Skryznecki and the Ted talk by Biljana Labovic have expressed the idea of displacement from the main perspective of the migrants and refugees. At the end, all three different texts have successfully conveyed the idea of ‘Place and Displacement’.
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