Belonging: Mean Girls & Simple Gift

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Our society today works in a very superficial attitude. People are often judged on their appearance. If a person fails to keep up with the newest fashions and trends, obtains a high paying job with a luxurious house, are often considered social outcasts. Society looks down upon these ‘social outcasts’. Therefore the rules of the society have an influence on an individual’s potential to belong. For example take the book ‘About a Boy’ by Nick Hornby. This novel is a very special novel of formation. Will and Marcus, which in the start don’t even know that one another exist and don’t have anything in common, are two different persons, that get to know each other through out the novel, and gradually a father-son relationship is formed between them. Marcus lives alone with his mother, who sometimes has a bad time, and often has suicidal thoughts. Will is a single 36 years old attractive man, who lives his life almost alone listening to Nirvana and all his other CD’s in his modern flat, where he spends most of his time, watching Countdown every day. Marcus is also alone, and especially after he has moved with his mother Fiona to the city London from Cambridge, he must go to another school, where he isn’t very popular. He is constantly teased by kids at school because of the clothing his wears and the music he listens to. They all think he is strange because he is different, because he doesn’t own the new fresh Nikes or the new snoop-dogg album. All things considered he doesn’t have any friends and his mother doesn’t seem to pay enough attention to him. Marcus and Will are two people with a totally different background, and still they both need some company in their regular every day life. Marcus and Will both have different outlooks on life. Marcus is spiritually rich and Will is materially rich. At the start of their relationship Marcus looks at Will as a role model but throughout the novel the tables turn and Will discovers that being materially rich doesn’t make you happy, but having family, friends and a place to belong is true happiness. This novel emphasizes how much people are judged on what they look like, where the come from and if their family is rich. Society is so concerned in how they look and the image they portray then truly being happy. Nick Hornby emphasizes to his audience that material possessions mean nothing. He tells his audience that although you may not feel like you fit in society because your not up to date with their trends and fashions does not mean you aren’t rich. To be spiritually rich is much better than being materially rich, and once you find that place where your happy, not afraid of being ostracized because of how you look, that’s when you truly belong You will be more happy than those scraping their banks clean to look good. This relates to the novel ‘The Simple Gift’ by Steven Herrick. Simple Gift is a story about a boy Billy, in search of belonging to something more. Billy decides to leave home abandoning his old lifestyle behind due to his relation of not belonging at home, school or even the whole community. He encounters a number of people, Old Bill who is also homeless and Caitlin a girl who has everything in the world except still is missing something. Both relate to Billy as they also to do not belong either in society or school and they create their own sense of belonging with Billy. Billy is like Marcus, spiritually rich, and appreciates the simple things in life. Caitlin is like Will somewhat. Her parents are rich, she goes to an upper class school and always has the nicest things, but lacks happiness. As the saying goes, money doesn’t buy happiness. She connects to Billy, who enriches her spiritually. Old Bill is an old man who once had everything, a good job, a wonderful family and a cozy home, until his wife and daughter died. Old Bill who once was spiritually rich became depressed and turn his back on the world. He drank until he passed out and made no attempt to restart his...
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