“an Individual’s Interaction with Others and the World Around Them Can Enrich or Limit Their Experience of Belonging”

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It is human nature to feel the incessant need to belong, whether it be to a particular group of people, culture or a country, This need can hinder or enhance an individual’s sense of belonging or not belonging. This essay will discuss this concept through the analysis of the following texts: Migrant Hostel, Feliks Skrzynecki written by Peter Skrzynecki in the Immigrant chronicle and the TWO other related texts “Skins” directed by Anthony Fabian and the documentary “Bully” directed by Lee Hirsch. All four texts explore modes of belonging, not belonging and the statement above.

The first text, Migrant Hostel, is a reflective poem about Peter Skrzynecki’s experience in a migrant hostel in Parkes, Western Australia. Skrzynecki describes in intense detail the hardships, he, his family and immigrants of the 50’s experienced in migrant hostels. Similes and metaphors are used particularly throughout the poem to convey alienation, which is evident in the 3rd stanza, the author tells the reader that the boom gates at the entrance of the hostel that it “rose and fell like fingers” and “pointed in reprimand or shame”. This specific metaphor/simile informs the reader, through the feeling of empathy about the difficulties that migrants faced not only through the judgement and prejudice of the general public but by the other migrants, this may have not been the case if the general public realised how their judgements and prejudices affect the migrants ability to trust, to assimilate and to truly belong. Imagery throughout the poem is a key aspect pertaining to migrant hostel, imagery is shown when Skrzynecki refers to the migrants as “homing pigeons” and “birds of passage” this suggests a small sense of unity between common migrants, this helps the reader to realise that in a sense the migrants do belong through a sense of not belong and feeling alienated always overweigh the feeling of belonging and connection.

The second text, Feliks Skrzynecki, This poem recounts the behaviour and the experiences Peter Skrzynecki had with his Father Feliks, The poem revealed the authors inner resentment towards his father, and his father’s ways, the poem also highlights Feliks’ resentment towards Peter and his dying need to connect with his culture and past. Imagery is used throughout the poem, imagery informs the reader of Feliks’ past times, establishes a relationship built on empathy and understanding between reader and Feliks and sheds light on the tense and almost tense relationship between Peter and Feliks, Stanza six tells us of a childhood memory of the author, it is made obvious that there is quite a distance between Peter and Feliks through this one statement “ Happy as I have never been”, this statement reveals to the reader that Peter feels as though Feliks is to blame for his unhappiness. Hyperbole is exercised throughout the poem to highlight Peters resentment, The author exaggerates the military like chores the family repeated everyday such as; “ He swept its paths ten times around the world” and “he spent years walking the perimeter” this makes it blatantly obvious that peter feels that Feliks cares about his garden more than what he does for him. These language techniques convey to the reader that if the author were to try to understand his father’s actions he may in fact feel as though he belongs. The film “skin” directed by Anthony Fabian is a film made to document the story of an African Women, Sandra Lang. Sandra Lang was born to two white parents who was born with coloured skin, this caused an argument as to which part of the clearly segregated societies that Africa lived in, the white society and the coloured society. Factual information within film is the biggest and foremost technique used, Lang’s story is told truthfully with no fear of controversy, the director conveys not only what happened to Lang but how she felt through these happenings, she felt as though she didn’t not belong with either society, her parents were...
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