It is certainly true to say that belonging and not belonging is determined by the relationships a character has with others and the world. Being accepted and having shared experiences with others and having genuine connections with ones environment is crucial to feelings of belonging. This is clearly evident in the verse novel The Simple Gift, composed by Steven Herrick, and further demonstrated in Ania Walqicz’s “Australia”. These texts show that without relationships with others and the world, one cannot fully belong.
Herrick conveys the importance of genuine connections to the world around a character to belonging quite effectively in his book “The Simple Gift”. In one of the first poems “Longlands Road” the lack of connections between main character Billy and his environment are shown. The quote “This place has never looked so rundown and beat” uses pejorative colloquial personification of the town, to show his dislike, and lack of connections to it.. There is an accumulation of negative imagery in the lines “old Basten’s truck still on blocks, the grass unmown around the doors. Mrs Johnston’s mailbox on the ground...” this conveys the environment as un-nurturing and decrepit and further explains Billy's hate for the town. These descriptions are also a pathetic fallacy, paralleling Billy’s lack of self-worth and sense of belonging. The importance of genuine connections to your environment is further evident in Walwicz’ text “Australia”. The text is a feature article where the composer describes the country they have moved to. The anaphora of “you” and distances the composer from their environment, which shows isolation and exclusion. The quote “You desert with your nothing nothing nothing” uses repetition of the word “nothing” conveying the composers view that the place is worthless. The pejorative diction “You big awful” depicts the country negatively. These techniques show Ania’s negative feelings and lack of connections to the country. These...
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