An individual’s experience of belonging is invariably affected by their previous encounters with their environment and the people with whom they interact. This is clearly presented within the texts analysed. In the novel “The Simple Gift” by Steven Herrick the author successfully demonstrates the power of past experiences to both limit and enrich an individual’s sense of belonging to both their surroundings and influential people. Similarly in the poem “Drifters”, Bruce Dawe conveys the idea of constant change preventing people connecting and belong to a community or place.
Steven Herrick demonstrates that a single event in our past can greatly affect they way in which we interact and perceive our environment…link… This is clearly focused upon through the anecdote of Old Bill’s daughter’s death. Through the emotive visual imagery and use of ellipses
“I was there for hours mad with rage and pain and God knows that tree fell …”
the author insightfully shows that grief and heartbreak can destroy a persons affinity with well known surroundings…link… Herrick suggests, that with the perception of change of an individual’s environment through a physical transformation, their mental state may have a corresponding change. This is further reinforced through repetition in the metaphor
“Fell and I fell with her and I’ve been falling ever since”.
Symbolising Old Bill’s increasing disenchantment with the world as the passing of time since ‘the fall’, accumulating with the revelation of Old Bill’s current lifestyle. Through this notion Herrick intelligently reflects upon how one moment in life can destroy one’s sense of belonging to previous role…link…
The power of the past is also shown by Herrick in the chapter “A project”. The author intelligently develops a tone of hopefulness through the repetition of “promise” in
“ I promised her we’d go and I promised her we’d swim together”....