Hsc Belonging -Peter Skrzynecki

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People’s perceptions of belonging can change over time, but this isn’t the case for all. When people experience moments of crisis in their lives they sometimes force a change within themselves and that is what helps them find an individual sense of belonging. This is highlighted in many texts and even composers life works. Texts that support this statement include Peter Skrzynecki’s Immigrant Chronicle poems, of which I have chosen St Patricks College and Feliks Skrzynecki. Skrzynecki’s poetry expresses the difficulties he faces when change doesn’t occur throughout time, as time alone isn’t a factor and that your sense of belonging is something that comes from within, with or without anyone. Not all people’s perceptions can change over time and sometimes it is ourselves that prevent us from finding a sense of belonging. St Patricks College is a reflective piece about the school Skrzynecki’s mother chose for him to go to. A detached tone is immediately established in Stanza 1 when the composer uses formal language to begin with; “Impressed by the uniforms of her employer’s sons, mother enrolled me at St Pat’s” continued with sarcasm when saying “What was best.” This reveals that the choice was made for the young Skrzynecki who is seen to harbour a slight resentment at being forced to belong to such an environment. The simile “Caught the 414 bus, like a foreign tourist, uncertain of my destination” conveys that the composer felt like an outsider and was taken over by unenthusiastic feelings; also implied by the low modality establishing the doubt and uncertainty such an environment could bring. The repetition of “For eight years” shows that time had not mended his inability to belong; it had only made it more evident and harder to deal with his internalised guilt. Skrzynecki finishes with the metaphor “Prayed that Mother would someday be pleased with what she’d got for her money- that the darkness around me wasn’t “for the best” before I let my light shine” which...
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