Belonging

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In what ways does exploring the concept and significance of belonging broaden and deepen an individual’s understanding of themselves and their world? Refer to at least TWO of Skrzynecki’s poems and one related text. Through the study of ‘Ender’s Game’ by Orson Scott Card and the poems ‘Postcard’ and ‘In the folk museum’ by Peter Skrzynecki, an individual’s understanding of themselves and their world is broadened and deepened. These texts show that a sense of belonging can be difficult to find and that not belonging or uncertainty can dramatically affect a person and the mental trauma that can place on them.

‘In the folk museum’, an individual’s understanding of themselves and their world is broadened through the techniques Skrzynecki employs to describe the loneliness and alienation he feels whilst in the museum. The first stanza challenges the typical image of museums as a place that attract people and represents how Skrzynecki feels about himself- alone and unapproachable. The personification used in “A darkness in the rooms/ Betrays the absence of voices” influences the mood the poem will take. The second stanza in which he in first person narrative describes the items he see’s show that even these items ( “a Victorian bedroom- hay knife, draining plough, shoulder yoke, box iron”) belong together which in turn signifies his sense of not belonging. The use of the word ‘relics’ symbolises that the items in the museum are meaningless to Skrzynecki and are easily passed because he has no affiliation to these items that are the daily paraphernalia of a foreign world- Australia, although the country he grew up in and lives in, he still has that unease about identifying as belonging to the culture. “To remind me of a past/ Which isn’t mine” reaffirms that he feels no connection or sense of belonging here. The fifth stanza shows that he has been unimpressed by a past to which he does not belong. “The wind taps hurriedly...And I leave without wanting a final look”...
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