Belonging Essay 2011

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Belonging is an aspect of ones intrinsic nature, surrounded by the importance of spiritual, emotional and physical external factors, although the most significant aspect one must have in order to be accepted is an individual sense of self. Through Emily Dickinson’s selection of Poems, Leunig’s cartoon, Loser and Mark Herman’s 2008 film, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, the composers question whether the price of to feel a sense of belonging and inclusion; whether to a religious, social or cultural group or individually, is worth the ramifications caused by the personal choices and sacrifices made. WORDS: 95

Emily Dickinson’s Poem, ‘This is my Letter to the World’ conveys her condemnation of her Victorian society due to her inability to belong. Her use of the ‘letter’ is a metonym of her collective poems of which feels that the recipient, the ‘world’, never wrote back. This is a metaphor of her issues in the fact that she feels that the ‘world’ did not make an effort with her and therefore the price of belonging for Dickinson related to her complete seclusion from society. Her melancholy tone throughout each stanza portrays the negative ideologies she has towards being accepted into a society of which she eels is idealistic and consumerist, which she also explores in ‘I died for Beauty’. ‘This is my Letter to the World’s bitter tone revolves around Dickinson’s ‘simple’ message, yet the message is ironic due to its importance in society. WORDS: 144

Echoing the ramifications of turning away from society is Leunig’s cartoon, Loser, which explores a young bird ‘opening his wings’. The contrasted colour encompassed within the frame portrays the hope that the ‘loser’ may have in finding his individuality, whereas the community is stuck in their cage, surrounded by dull colours, evocative of a prison-like setting. ‘…Another loser has-been fades into obscurity…’ is placed in the centre of the single cell cartoon, ironically conveys a juxtaposition of the bird flying...
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