Migrant Hostel

Topics: Homing pigeon, Pigeon post, United States Pages: 1 (262 words) Published: November 19, 2010
Peter Skrzynecki’s ‘Migrant Hostel’ reflects his own personal experiences as a migrant in Australia. The combination of “Comings, goings, arrivals and sudden departures” implies a sense of chaos, insecurity and instability. Skrzynecki used similes such as ‘homing pigeon and birds of passage’ to explain the constant change because an homing pigeon is usually trained to find its own way home which gives a desire for the migrants for a home, a place to belong. Birds of passage do not have a home, they navigate from one destination to another, it emphasises the absence of a fixed home for these people. The constant changing of the hostel prevents Skrzynecki from finding a place of belonging, leaving him feeling lost and confused about his sense of self. The migrants belong to a group, implying a lack of individuality which unites the migrants and creates a sense of belonging. The hostel provides a prison-like life and societal group to which the migrants belong. The “barrier at the main gate” is a metaphoric and literal barrier, giving the impression of imprisonment, sealing off the migrants from the rest of the world. This isolation allows the migrants to belong to a group, but not a country. Skrzynecki used alliteration such as ‘hunger and hate’ to demonstrate the migrants emotions of other groups after their own suffering. Skrzynecki feels as though he does not belong in the hostel because of the impermanent, instable environment, however he and the other migrants have certain things in common which unite them, consequently creating a place where they belong.
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