Belonging Speech Simple Gift & the Island

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“The Simple Gift” by Steven Herrick is about a 16 year old boy called Billy who ran away from home and his abusive father. He ends up in Bundarret, where he meets the other two main characters Old Bill and Caitlin. Old Bill is a homeless, drinking man who lives in the train carriage next to Billy. We later find out that Old Bill does have a house but left it after the death of his wife and his daughter. The other main character is Caitlin; a rich private school girl who you’d think has everything she needs: money, friends, a house and nice parents. However she realises throughout the story that she is missing something money can’t buy her. One of the techniques used is the free verse form of the text, where it keeps swapping between each character. It tells the story from each character’s perspective, which allows the reader into their personality, thoughts, emotions, insecurities and ambitions. This gives you a closer understanding of them and makes you feel like you’re part of the story. Or also the understanding that home is not permanent, shown by Billy’s thoughts when he moved into Old Bill’s house: “I know I’m only here for a while so I tread lightly with respect for this house and for Old Bill.” Symbolism is used to show that belonging reaches beyond boundaries. Even though Old Bill left, he was somehow still with Billy: “…and I looked up into the sky, the deep blue sky that Old Bill and I shared.”
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