In the Folk Museum
The concept of belonging
A museum is a place of past. A folk museum celebrates the lives and lifestyle of a bygone era. This particular ‘folk museum’ is displaying the culture and life of the early Australians. The persona feels disconnected from the experience – the almost deathly scene betrays his, and others, lack of interest. Through the use of imagery, the poet sets a cold, stale, dark and a silent place and this highlights the persona’s feeling of not belonging. The persona is also asked to sign a “Visitors Book”, which reveals that the persona is an outside and that he doesn’t belong. The museum is symbolizes the persona’s feeling of not belonging to Australian culture. The Relics
The feelings of alienation continue. He does not experience a connection with this representation of the past – the exhibit to him is a collection of words that are used to label items as shown in the accumulation of, “Hay knife, draining plough, /shoulder yoke, box iron”. He looks “at words” rather than the real objects themselves, suggesting his alienation from the material world. “Heritage” implies a rich past that has been passed on to him but he rejects it as it, “isn’t mine”. The Outside World
The poet personifies the weather which amplifies the feelings of not belonging. The seasonal reference symbolises a passing of time, approaching the “Winter” of decay and death. The season autumn is personified, and the autumn colours (brown and yellow) symbolise past – create dismal mood that hints of decaying heritage. Worship
The juxtaposition of the museum and the Town Hall’s church service further emphasises the persona’s isolation and adds to the feeling of not belonging. The use of excluding pronoun ‘they’ reveals that the poet that feels that he belongs there. He is not only alienated from the past, and others, but there is also a hint that he is separated from God. The detachment as a result of "they", considering the religious undertones...
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