Belonging Essay

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How do people’s ideas about belonging change due to passage of time and interacting with their world (family, friends, community, environment)?

Belonging comes from connections with physical aspects but is often a feeling created by shaped perceptions and interactions with the world over time. It is through the poems, ‘ 10 Mary Street and Migrant Hostel’ by Peter Skrzynecki from his compilation in the immigrant chronicle, Tim Winton’s short story ‘Neighbours’ and Rob Sitch’s film, ‘The castle’, that an individual’s conceived idea towards belonging may change due to the passage of time. Emerging from personal, social and contextual circumstances, the sense of belonging or not belonging is an underlying factor shaping one’s identity throughout time.

The poem, ’10 Mary Street’, emphasis the idea of connection to place and how the Skrzynecki family have established over time a feeling of belonging to the home. The use of repletion, “for nineteen years”, is a time reference of the place they have lived in for so long, this is a place that has established their belonging. The image of the garden is symbolic of the family’s way of accepting and establishing their identity. Ultimately this creates a place over time that the family can call their own. Somewhere they have a sense of permanence and could lay figurative ‘roots’, demonstrated literally through the planting of the garden. The use of personification of the house standing, “in its china blue coat”, emphasis that love has evolved within the home, making the possibility of losing the home devastating. The time shift, “for another ten years” establishes that the family has moved away. Skrzynecki’s place of belonging has been neglected for some time and their roots where they used to belong have been erased.

Another idea skrzynecki has conveyed in ’10 Mary Street’ is the notion of the cultural barriers and the challenge to belong to a new place due to passage of time. Skrzynecki lists, “kielbasa, salt...
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