Belonging: the Breakfast Club

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The securities offered by a sense of belonging are attractive, but can blind you to what lies outside the sphere of influences that they exert. It is only when we gain a much broader insight into the concept of belonging and when we move beyond the security of what we know and believe; that we can start to fully appreciate other social concepts. Perhaps an ideal of “belonging” is most clearly seen, when it is contrasted with a sense of exclusion; of alienation. The poems “migrant hostel” and “Feliks Skrzynecki” by Peter Skrzynecki, the movie “The breakfast club” by john Huges and “the angry kettle” by Ding Xiaoqi demonstrate this challenge to a sense of belonging and how it can have personal impacts. “Migrant hostel” voice the hardship experienced by the personas family in an attempt to fit into the Australian culture. The “nationalities sought each other out instinctively- like a homing pigeon”. This simile suggests that the families want to belong, so “instinctively”; without control, the different nationalities come together, because they have something in common that they can connect with. The idea that it’s hard to see past barriers you have become accustomed to, is also seen in “the breakfast club”. The five people in detention all look very different and we come to see they represent different social groups – all looking stereotypical for their role. “you see us as you want to see us... you see us as a brain, and athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal... that’s the way we saw each other”. Because they look stereotypical for a certain group, they feel as if they have to belong to it. This creates barriers between them automatically. They do not want to accept and become part of the others’ life style. These stereotypes emphasise differences in reality. It generalises the outward consensus of the school, but by doing this it successfully illustrates a very real point. They have become blinded towards one another by the comfort of belonging....
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