An individual can feel isolated and alienated if they don’t feel a sense of belonging to a certain community, place or even themselves. Feeling acceptance is an important aspect of belonging and can intensify an individual’s sense of belonging. Peter Skryznecki’s anthology Immigrant Chronicle, including poems ‘Migrant Hostel’ and ‘Feliks Skryznecki’. These poems explore how individuals may feel alienated from society due to cultural background and in contrast how embracing cultural heritage can give a new sense of acceptance and belonging. These ideas as similarly explored in Alice Pung’s collection of short stories Growing up Asian in Australia but specifically in the short story Chinese Dancing, Bendigo Style.
Peter Skryznecki poem ‘Migrant Hostel’ explores how immigrants can feel alienated from society due to their cultural background, and physical as well as metaphorical barriers placed by their community can intensify this alienation. The poem illustrates how immigrants were treated and the way they felt, as they were being kept separate from the Australian society in institutions such as the Parkes Hostel. The poem conveys how the immigrants felt disconnected from society and alienated due to their background. The poem begins with a negative tone, which foreshadows what the overall emotion of the poem will be. It emphasises the way Skryznecki felt about his experience at the hostel. ‘No one kept count/Of all the comings and goings’. These lines use a negative tone to show the negativity he felt toward this place, it shows how there may have been too many people in the hostel to even keep count or that nobody really cared about who was there and that to society they were just a number. Skryznecki’s negative description of the hostel continues in stanza two where he describes how the new immigrants were ‘Partitioned off at night/By memories of hunger and hate.’ The alliteration of ‘hunger and hate’ emphasis the hatred he had and how his memories haunt...
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