Belonging - Immigrant Chronicles & Tom Brennan

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An individual’s relationship with others and the places which surround them can have an effect on the individual’s sense of self-worth and their feelings of belonging. This notion is conveyed through the use of language techniques in both the set of poems “Feliks Skrzynecki”, “St Patrick’s College” and “Migrant Hostel” from Peter Skrzynecki’s anthology Immigrant Chronicles (1975) and the novel The Story of Tom Brennan (2005) composed by J.C. Burke. One’s connection to a place greatly impacts on their sense of security and belonging. This idea is explored in Skrzynecki’s poems “Feliks Skrzynecki” and “St Patrick’s College”. In “Feliks Skrzynecki” the composer uses the metaphoric representation of the word ‘world’ to convey the thought of Feliks’ garden as, not just a garden but as a part of his world, which he belongs to. This is accompanied by the modified cliché, ‘Kept pace only with the Joneses of his own minds making’ shows his lack of need to impress anyone with his world, that it is his and he is content with what he has. He has a strong sense of security in his garden this is displayed by the amount of time he spends ‘walking its perimeters’, ‘from sunrise to sleep’. By revealing the amount of time he spends in the garden the composer shows that Feliks must feel safe and comfortable in such a place. Such connection can also be negative; this is shown in “St Patrick’s College”. The use of first person singular in ‘I got off’ implies the speaker’s feelings of loneliness, as he feels isolated despite getting off a bus full of other St Pats students. This demonstrates the speaker’s feelings of isolation from the others at the school. The composer makes use of the simile, ‘like a foreign tourist uncertain of my destination’ to convey the idea of being a visitor not a person who belongs. This has the effect of displaying the speaker’s insecurity, as somewhat of a ‘tourist’ to the school and the speaker feels as if he does not fit in. The idea of an individual’s...
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