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Essay on belonging: ( Felicks + Migrant hostel) Belonging is derived from the association with place (s) or relationships, and the human desire to feel acceptance. Views on belonging alter between individuals as they are subjective and based on an individual’s personal experience, for example the struggle to obtain a sense of belonging in a father and son relationship or enduring the complex process of belonging through migration to another country.
This is demonstrated in Peter Skrzynecki’s novel immigrant chronicle but more importantly in two of his poems “ Migrant hostel and Felicks Skrzynecki”, as well as Tim Burtons 1990 film ‘ Edward Scissor Hands’ Peter Skrzynecki demonstrates the complexity to belong through the poem ‘Felicks Skrzynecki’ and his father’s affiliation with a place as he writes “ loved his garden like an only child’ .
Simile conveys that Felicks sense of belonging is derived from the comfort of his garden; he has paternal feelings towards it like a father connects to his child.
In comparison this establishes the alienation of peters relationship with his father.
Skrzynecki conveys he feels displaces and his sense of cultural identity is marginalised when he writes “ pegging tents, further and further south of Hadrians wall’ Metaphor conveys Peter’s education has resulted in him moving further away from his cultural heritage and his father, instigating his loss of association with Poland.
The complexity of belonging conveyed when Skrzynecki compares the separate lifestyles of him and his father, “ happy as I have never been” Adjective ‘happy’ foregrounds his uncertainty of moving away from his culture as well as the awe he feels in regards to his father living a happier lifestyle.
Skrzynecki further conveys he does not belong when he comments “shook hands violently” and “never got use to the formal addressing of my father, Felicks Skrzynecki” negative connotations of ‘violently’ represents his sense of alienation and choice not to associate with his father of polish friends.
Skrzynecki demonstrates the complexity of belonging. Struggle to belong + find ones place through the relationships to people and places that he does not share “ reminisced about farms where paddocks flowered” Positive verbs + nostalgia of a shared pride in cultural heritage which connects Felicks and his Polish friends together, segregating Peter from being able to relate to them. . The struggle to belong and find ones place is significant in the lives of people is further conveyed in the poem ‘ migrant hostel’ as Skryznecki writes “ nationalities sought each other out” Diction conveys that within the hostel the migrants divided themselves into specific nationalities providing a sense of belonging to a particular community and reinforcing their identities.
In relation to this Skrzynecki demonstrates the hardship of living in a migrant hostel through the simile “ like a homing pigeon circling to get its bearings” Portrays the feeling of searching for and wanting a sense of place + permanency which leads to the feeling of belonging.
In addition to this the struggle to belong is expressed when Skryznecki writes “accents portioned off at night” Metaphor notes that there is a sense of belonging and not belonging in this point of time as people of the same culture group together yet there the feeling of alienation and exclusivity between the segregated groups conveying that belonging can also lead to isolation from others.
Skryznecki writes “ always sensing a change in the weather, unaware of whose track we would follow” Imagery enhances the uncertainty or doubt of the migrants futures and the lacking sense of security that they are all in need of, further noting that the migrants must make their own paths in order to start a new future.
Use of Symbolism conveys that the migrants are in need of the sanction of the gate portraying that without it there is no freedom that waits them, highlighting their struggle and start a new beginning. In relation to this “lives that had only begun or were dying” Metaphor depicts that the new life that the migrants will be granted can either be embraced as a fresh start to life where freedom and permanency will be granted or in comparison it can be the mourning of the migrants past life and experiences.
In conclusion, throughout the poem Skryznecki supports that views on belonging alter between individuals as they are subjective and based on an individual’s experience, and that through his personal, social and cultural experiences he endures the struggle to belong to his father and his cultural heritage as well as his migration to another country, yet he feels content by moving away to another country as well as pursue he his education and still be a part of his own culture.
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