Acceptance and Belonging

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The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and Feliks Skrzynecki

A key idea to do with the concept of belonging is how a sense of belonging can deplete or enrich one’s identity. This is presented in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas through the character Bruno and how his connection to setting affects his sense of belonging. Bruno is forcibly moved from his home in Berlin where he has grown up and feels a strong connection with, to ‘Out With’, which is ‘in the middle of nowhere’. It is important to observe how the move between Berlin and ‘Out With’ has an effect on Bruno’s sense of belonging. The house in Berlin represents security, and a sense of belonging is evoked through his relationships such as his ‘3 best friends for life’ and also the memories that Bruno shares with it as they suggest a connection, for example the banister ‘that stretched from the very top floor’. The change in setting to ‘Out With’ sees Bruno’s sense of belonging take an interesting turn to a sense of detachment and alienation, which is emphasised by Boyne through the repetition of Bruno wanting ‘to go home to Berlin’ and his failed attempts to try and make his new house at Out With more homely, for example his tyre swing, which only ends up injuring Bruno. Similar Ideas are presented in the poem, Feliks Skzynecki, in which Peter Skrzynecki appraises the life of his father. A strong sense of belonging is presented through Feliks’s connection to Poland, which is emphasised through relationships with ‘Polish friends’ and memories, for example, ‘they reminisced, About farms where paddocks flowered. Parallel’s can be drawn between the characters of Feliks and Bruno in the way that a sense of connection to a place can enrich an identity. Feliks’s connection to Poland, the mother land, strengthens his sense of Polish identity, which is highlighted through his limited effort to assimilate, for example not learning English.

The New School and St Patrick’s College

An interesting point to consider when...
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