Migrant Hostel and Feliks Skrzynecki

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Demonstrate how alienation is a key theme in both Migrant Hostel and Feliks Skrzynecki. Textual evidence must be used in your response.

Belonging is an extremely complex and intangible concept based upon one’s perception of themselves and the world around them. Through reading and breaking down these two poems, Migrant Hostel and Feliks Skrzynecki by Peter Skrzynecki, it is recognised that they both reveal alienation in their contexts. Alienation is a key theme as both poems emphasis dominate features through using strong textual evidence within these texts. Literary techniques such as metaphors, similies, hyperbole, descriptive language and imagery are used to describe alienation in Migrant Hostel and Feliks Skrzynecki.

When people do not spend a lot of time in one place, they never really feel like they belong. In the first stanza of migrant hostel, hyperbole is used to provide an example of how the immigrants do not belong to the hostel. “Sudden departments…left us wondering who would be coming next”. This is an over exaggeration of interpreting the feelings of the immigrants of alienation, whom struggle to belong as everyone comes and goes and is not a unified community.

As the immigrants choose to be separated due to memories of which they want to forget, resulting in being victims of bureaucracy. The metaphor “Partitioned off at night by memories of hunger and hate”, allows the immigrants to be dehumanized and generate conflict due to the lack of social stability. This is the consequence of being together which acknowledges alienation within the hostel. Similarly in Feliks Skrzynecki, descriptive language is used to reinforce alienation between father and son. “Feliks Skrzynecki, That formal address I never got used to”. Although, through the shared history, it binds these men together and allows them to cope with alienation in this new and strange world.

The constant rejection of society forces migrants to seek connection amongst themselves...
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