Belonging Essay - Swallow the Air/ Goldie

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‘Relationships are essential to finding a true sense of belonging.’ Discuss with reference to your prescribed text and ONE related text of your choosing. Belonging is the feeling of acceptance and inclusion when there is a sense of security and support to a certain group or community. Relationships are an essential factor that may either enrich, or limit ones sense of belonging. This essay will give reference to ‘Swallow the Air’ and ‘Goldie’. ‘Swallow the Air’ by Tara June Winch is a novel featuring the protagonist, May and her quest to find belonging. Throughout the series of interconnected stories, May feels as though she belongs with many people, her mother June included. With June ending her life within the first chapter, there are many metaphors signifying June. “Jacaranda petals and blood, softened and returned.” The jacaranda tree is signifying June’s kindred spirit. The relationship that May has with June, is strong, which is why within the book, there are many metaphors reminding May of her mother. The relationship with May and June enriches May’s sense of belonging, however the death limits it. Goldie is a song by Australian singer/ songwriter Paris Wells. Throughout the song, it features Goldie, and her journey through isolation and sexual trafficking. Unlike ‘Swallow the Air’, Goldie feels isolated within a violent surrounding. “Her relatives ignore her relatively all the time, said she bumped in chairs and fell down stair to keep her into line.” As Wells sings this verse, her tone progresses from mellow to angry. This gives an emphasis on how violent and isolated Goldie feels with her relatives. This relationship between Goldie and her relatives did not enrich her sense of belonging, but limited it. May’s relationship with Billy always made her feel as though she belonged. However, when May discovered her drug addled brother living in a drug home, she felt as though she did not belong with him. “He was vacant. He had eyes. He did not wake.” This...
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