Peter Skrzynecki - Belonging

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People experience a sense of belonging in varied and complex ways. How is this explored in the text you have studied? People have different experiences of belonging, some of these are positive and others are negative. This concept will be explored through the prescribed text, the poems Immigrant Chronicle by Peter Skrzynecki, the film Looking for Alibrandi directed by Kate Woods and the novel Ten things I hate about me written by Randa Abdel El Fattah. These texts highlight the different aspects of belonging in varied negative and positive ways. In the poem St Patrick’s college by Peter Skrzynecki there are various themes explored however a predominate theme explored is the persona’s sense of disconnection which he feels through his secondary education. He constantly feels detached from his school community, not engaging in any activity or forming relationships. Through the example; ‘Like a foreign tourist uncertain of my destination everytime I got off’ through the simile ‘like a foreign tourist’ the persona compares his everyday routine life to a tourist someone unaware of new surroundings. This demonstrates the persona as feeling emotionally and socially detached from society, comparing his world which is his ‘home’ to a place which is foreign to him. This is further depicted through this example; ‘Saw equations never understood/ rubbed of board/voices at the bustop/taking the right hand turn/ out of Edgar Street for good/ prayed one day mother would be pleased’. The listing of images through the use of verbs, saw, rubbed off, voices, taking and prayed suggest the time rapidly passing and emphasises the persona’s lack of connection to place. He doesn’t participate in any of these activities accentuating ideas of detachment and restriction of his character even up for his last days any growth of connection. As he states ‘someday’ this demonstrates that the persona is aware he hasn’t fulfilled his mother’s expectation and hopes. No achievements with the college have limited his ability to show his potential to make the most from his opportunity. Therefore, the schooling life of the persona is complex, as he feels he doesn’t belong and during his time he has experienced detachment and continual alienation. Similarly, the idea of complex feelings of belonging and alienation are explored in the film Looking for Alibrandi directed by Kate Woods, this depicts the complexity which Josie faces as she balances living within two worlds, her Ethnic Italian background and contemporary Australian society. The composer has implemented a medium shot of Josie showing her change the music from traditional Italian to contemporary Australian music as a voiceover informs the audience that ‘I find this embarrassing you think they’d never left Sicily. This might be where I come from but do I really belong here? During this traditional gathering Josie changes traditional and appreciated Italian music to an alternative style which is frowned upon by her family. The voice over suggests that Josie is experiencing feelings of confusion about which culture she actually belongs too, this is demonstrated when her friends come pass and she leaves her gathering to move into a different environment. Her facial expression changes when she hears the beep by her friend, her dull bored face changes to a big smile as she rushes out. She refers to the gathering as ‘NATIONAL WOG DAY’ she uses derogatory language to describe her own cultural heritage. Through these techniques the responder is positioned to understand the division of her worlds, and the complexity which she experiences as she confused. Therefore Josie detaches herself from her cultural heritage as she is unsure where she should belong, as she experiences a negative sense of belonging as a direct consequence of her confusion of worlds. The poem 10 Mary Street by Peter Skrzynecki explores the notion of belonging; he and his family feel a sense of belonging as their home offers security and...
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