Belonging Peter Skrzynecki

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Belonging can emerge from connections with people, places and communities. Without these connections individuals can often find it very challenging to find somewhere or something to belong to. Individuals’ attitudes, beliefs and values can also impact on the degree to which they can or allow themselves to connect to something. These challenges are shown to be faces by individuals in Peter Skrzynecki’s Immigrant Chronicle poems 10 Mary Street, St Patricks College, Feliks Skrzynecki and also in the movies Legally Blonde with main character Elle Woods and in The Pursuit of Happyness with main character Chris Gardner.

For the Skrzyneckis migrating from Poland to Australia was a huge unwanted change. They were faced with moving from somewhere where they had a large amount of connections to a place where they had no sense of belonging. For the Skrzyneckis’ 10 Mary Street was a house that was able to provide them with things that they wanted and needed to connect and belong somewhere within the Australian culture. The house enabled the Skrzyneckis’ to develop aspects of feelings of security and safety and have a place that they could identify with among the community. The Skrzyneckis’ were not ready to give up their ‘old ways’ and have a desire to preserve their polish culture. They did this by creating a garden at their house which conveyed a rich and positive image of life.

Peters parents the Skrzyneckis’ admired their garden immensely. This can be seen from the simile ‘they tended roses like adopted children’ this gave off the impression that they loved it dearly. Peters parents would always have old polish friends over that they could share their own food, culture and tradition with. They had many ‘heated discussions’ with ‘embracing gestures’. However 10 Mary Street had less significance to Peter as he feels as strong social pressure from the Australian culture to change while his parents hang on to the ‘old ways’. Peter reminisces about ‘I’d ravage the...
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