To what extent is an individual’s sense of belonging determined by external forces. Support your response by close reference to how ideas about belonging are represented in your prescribed text and at least one other related text of your own choosing.
To a large extent external forces will influence an individual’s sense of belonging, however to a small extent internal forces also have an impact. This is reflected in the prescribed text “The Simple Gift” by Steven Herrick and the related texts, “Minority” by Green-day, and “Happy Feet” by George Miller. All these texts demonstrate both negative and positive experiences of belonging through the use of various methods and factors. External factors affecting an individual’s sense of belonging may include, people, society and the environment they are brought up in. However an individual may choose to not belong anywhere due to factors within themselves.
Steven Herrick’s “The Simple Gift” communicates external forces influencing an individual’s sense of belonging. He does this through the characters needs of belonging to society not being met. One of Herrick’s main characters that undergo this is Billy. As we meet this character, we learn that he has come from a less positive experience of belonging which has caused him to become detached from family, and society. Billy is seen as having a bad relationship with his father in this verse novel. His childhood was destroyed and had a big impact on his sense of belonging. The poem “Men” conveys his negative attitude towards his father and this is seen in the line “There are men like Ernie and then there are men like my dad”. Another poem “Sport” reveals the actions of his abusive father as he writes from his perspective, “Gave me on hard backhander”. In having a terrible relationship with his father, through acts of kindness from various characters such as Ernie and Irene, Billy feels he is more able to reach out and form relationships with others. Billy forms a...
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