Belonging Essay

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A sense of belonging can emerge from the connections made with people and the world. As we develop the understanding and acceptance, this allows us to feel belonging. The texts that I have studied have all explored how both understanding and the lack of understanding can impact on ones sense of belonging. "The Simple Gift", a narrative poem by Stephen Herrick's demonstrates elements of belonging, understanding and acceptance through the pain and suffering of rejection and homelessness faced by the characters Billy, Caitlin and Old Bill. Additionally in the film “Freedom Writers” Directed by Richard LaGravenese the concepts of belonging and understanding are brought out through Ms. Gruwell's attempt to bring a sense of community, solidarity and belonging to her students, whom society deems as outsiders. In the book ‘the simple gift’ finding a sense of belonging has been a struggle for Billy, a young boy had left home as his father was abusive and didn’t support Billy, we witness this throughout a flashback Billy has of when he was a child. When he was ten years old he was playing soccer in the back yard practicing for the game when he accidentally broke a window. Billy’s father ‘gave him one hard backhander across the face, so hard he fell down…’ A metaphor is used in ‘slammed the door on his sporting childhood’ to show the alienation and isolation caused by an abusive father towards Billy. This shows us that Billy didn’t belong in a family like his, and in turn led to him leaving home at the age of 16. As the novel progresses and Billy’s Struggle for belonging continues. As he is approaching the town he is confronted with “more cars and school buses, yellow, full of kids shouting insults him, the bum.’ He was being labeled a “bum” which tells us that he was an outcast. When Billy finds himself in the town of Bendarat he feels as if he has found a physical sense of belonging when he says with a sense of irony ‘Bendarat is the perfect town. A...
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