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

By | May 2013
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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...

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