Analysis of Belonging

Topics: Short story, Novel, Protagonist Pages: 3 (821 words) Published: November 10, 2010
An analysis of belonging.

A feeling of belonging can be created by physical ownership, a cultural connection, a social group or belonging to a certain please. The desire to obtain these relationships are thought as universal. Not having these relationships can create a feeling of not belonging. These aspects of belonging are explored in a variety of texts, such as the free verse novel, “The Simple Gift”, written by Steven Herrick. The song “Small Town” written by John Mellencamp and the short story “Only Ten” written by Allan Baillie all explore belonging in a similar way.

The main characters in “The Simple Gift” and “Only Ten” both feel that they do not belong at the beginning of the story. Billy feels alienated from his father, school, his town and the community. Hussein is first not accepted at his new school when he moves from his old war torn country. The idea of belonging is shown differently through the song “Small Town”. The man is shown to belong in the town and the community surrounding it.

The character Billy from “The Simple gift” is first shown to have a disconnection from his father which can be shown from the quote “Drink this instead to celebrate your son leaving home.” He is also shown to dislike school, from the quote “It’s the only time my schoolbag has come in handy.” Read more in Topical

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Billy feels that he connects with Westfield creek, and can be shown from the quote “I love this place”. Steve Herrick uses highly descriptive language to amplify a feeling of belonging though the characters.

Billy physically moves from his old lifestyle due to his sense of not belonging at home and school. Billy is accepted by Ernie the train driver, even though he is homeless. He is similarly accepted by the librarian in Bendarat, helping him in his transition to belonging. Billy finds old Bill, who is also homeless, living in an old train carriage. they...
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