Belonging is not an easily identified term. It is an inherent human condition in which we strive to feel an unconditional bond of security, and is essential in confirming our identity and place in the world. This connection can be acheived through a reciprocated understanding between people, their identity and their surroundings, in which the seed of understanding, nourishes a sense of belonging to grow.
But at what cost? Belonging and identity are two words which go hand in hand, but to identify with a group, conformity is imperative, and as a result, individuality and identity is compromised. The realtionship between conformity as a notion of understanding and therefore, belonging, is explored throughout Shakespeares play As You Like It, Peter Skryecki's poem "Feliks Skryznecki" and Shaun Tans picture book "Tales From Outer Suburbia".
Peter Skryznecki's poem "Feliks Skryznecki", is an insightful poem which explores a sons disconnection with his father, Feliks, but more importantly Feliks' willing disconnection with society in an attempt to conserve the memory of his past life.
"My gentle father
Kept pace only with the Jonses
Of his own minds making"
Through the use of the colloquial term 'keeping up with the Jonses", it becomes obvious that Feliks has his own set of values, standards and expectations, thus belonging to himself. In effect he therefore does not belong to society, as his heritage serves as a defining source of his identity, a precious jewel to which his son is heir.
In "Loved his garden like an only child"
Skryznecki, uses connotative language and similie to portray a sense of jealousy for the garden and disconnection with his father. Subsequently this disconnection also includes heritage, as the maintainence of Feliks' garden, can be interpreted as a symbolistic gesture towards "maintaining" the memory of his former life, the implications of which, have hindered him from understanding an unfamiliar society.
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