Belonging: Interpersonal Relationship and Simple Gift

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A sense of belonging or not belonging greatly influences an individuals identity. A change in identity occurs when belonging is found through meaningful, intimate relationships, with senses ofplace, community, safety and familiarity. The free verse novel, The Simple Gift, composed by Steven Herrick, and the dramatic fairytale film, Edward Scissorhands, directed and created by Tim Burton, both explore the concepts of belonging and relationships through the strong use of literary techniques; and focus on a changing Identity as a base for belonging. Both texts have significantly different perspectives of belonging and identity. Edward yearns to belong and become part of societys conformity and routine, whereas Billy aspires to a life of solitude and self reliance. Billy is a misfit in high school, having no significant relationships and a heartless abusive father, the old bastard. Before he embarks on journey for belonging, it is evident that he lacks a sense of belonging at home and in his community. Billy describes his home house as Deadbeat no hoper shithole lonely downtrodden house in Longlands road, Nowheresville. This string of informal negative description emphasizes Billys emotional isolation and dislocation within his community. His missing sense of belonging gives him the identity of an outcast, which proves belonging or not belonging greatly influences an individuals identity. Billys escape from his town, Nowheresville to Bendarat coincides with his discovery of relationships, acceptance and nourishment from strangers. Herrick has used the characterization of Billys father figures to portray his desire to belong. When Billy first escapes his town, and we see first see the weather motif, mirroring Billys belonging to place, the rain is personified as Billy describes it as hitting you in the face with the force of a fathers punch. This metaphor shows why Billy needed to escape from his abusive tyrant father, and his lack of intimate relationships and...
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