Belonging Essay

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Practice Extended Response – Exam prep

Question: “The need to belong marks us as human and it is such connections that lead to fulfilment.”

After studying Belonging, to what extent do you agree with this statement?

All humans have the undeniable desire to belong in one way or another. It is through connections with various people, groups, communities and places that fulfilment can be achieved in life. To belong means to have happiness and contentment that is found in a secure relationship and association with other people and places. How we, as human beings, perceive the world depends on personal experiences, contexts and barriers. It is through this ‘perception’ that we make connections with other people who share something in common – hence discovering a sense of belonging and personal identity. This idea of a journey of self discovery and belonging is portrayed through varying ways in the novel ‘The Simple Gift’ by Steven Herrick, the movie ‘Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone’ and the picture book ‘The Red Tree’ By Shaun Tan.

The novel ‘The Simple Gift’ is a great depiction of how every human, no matter what their culture, history or opinions are, have the need to belong. Perceptions in life are shaped by individual contexts and barriers in which we live and associate ourselves with – leading to connections being made with others who share similar mindsets. This concept is positively shown throughout the novel as the characters develop and interact. The idea that personal experiences and barriers can affect the way we perceive life is shown when Old Billy says he “wasn’t always a hobo. I worked in town… I earned a lot of money knowing stupid rules and regulations.” There is a strong contrast between the nostalgic memories of Old Billy’s past to what now seems to be an almost hopeless situation. This leaves the responder questioning the underlying reasons behind why he has now become a hobo. The negative tone towards his old ‘successful’...
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