Belonging Essay Guideline

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Belonging is central to how we define ourselves: our belonging to people, places and groups enables one to develop a distinct identity terminated by affiliation, acceptance and association. Martin Luther King’s speech ‘I have a Dream’, Charles Dickens novel ‘Oliver Twist’ and Peter Skzynecki’s poems ‘________’ and ‘________’ all powerfully explore the concept of belonging and the centrality of culture and identity through a variety of poetic, literary and persuasive language techniques. In particular, all four texts investigate how a sense of belonging arises from a feeling of connection to places and people, with Oliver’s connection to the pickpocket gang and ___, Felik’s connection to his garden and Polish friends, the persona’s contrasting lack of connection to War-saw in “Postcard” and Martin Luther King’s connection to culture. Yet the texts differ in their portrayal of the idea that attitudes towards belonging may be modified over time. While the persona in “Feliks Skezynecki” and “Postcard” ambiguously changes his attitudes towards his Polish heritage, Molly and Mr Neville do not change their attitudes in Rabbit Proof Fence. Each text powerfully explores the significance of the culture to a sense of belonging through a variety of techniques.

Each text studied presents a clear exploration of the idea that a sense of belonging is derived from a connection made to cultural places and communities Throughout Phillip Noyce’s Rabbit Proof Fence, Molly has a strong sense of connection inextricably to the land and her family. At the beginning of the film, there is a tracking aerial shot of the changing Australian landscape and Molly’s voiceover, speaking in her traditional Aboriginal language. As she says, “Our people, the Jigalong people, we were a desert people then, walking all over our land,” the viewer perceives her from above. Presenting the audience with her land and her voice, speaking in first person possessive, positions and audience to sympathise...
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