Belonging over Time

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Through exploration and interpretation of texts, and consideration and reflection upon the meaning that they have conveyed, I have discovered a vast array of representations of both ‘belonging’ and ‘not belonging’ present in four texts; St Patrick’s College and Ancestors composed by Peter Skrzynecki, the song I Am Australian by the Seekers and my own composition. All four texts, demonstrate that a sense of Belonging is continuously modified over time, through means of various techniques and forms, suggesting that it comes from a connection to place, culture and people and that a person has the ultimate choice whether they belong or not Through personal exploration of social, political, historical and contextual experiences, my composition reflects both Skrzynecki and The Seekers’ ideas of both belonging and not belonging. These include belonging to place, culture, community and nationality. Skrzynecki’s poem St Patrick’s College deals with his own inability to feel affiliation with the wider school community while also trying to abide by his mother’s best intentions. The ironic imagery of “Our Lady watched/ With outstretched arms,/Her face covered by clouds” while describing the statue of the virgin Mary, is an example of the consistent, negative, emotive language used throughout the poem which highlights Skrzynecki’s disaffection towards the school. It is through his own choices and perceptions that Skrzynecki chooses not to fit in to his school community. While talking about the school motto emblazed to his chest, Skrzynecki shows his disconnection by sticking pine needles into the motto and saying “I thought it was a brand of soap”. The absence of pride and respect in the school motto tells us that he is choosing not to be a part of the solidarity of which is his own school community.

Skrzynecki’s long and monotonous journey is illustrated through the repetitive phrase “for eight years”, which gives us a length of time for...
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