Peter Skrzynecki Belonging Essay

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Both Peter Skrzynecki’s ‘Immigrant Chronicle’ and Gabriele Muccino’s The Pursuit of Happiness represent the need for belonging through a character’s place and interpret the general need for place in belonging. Within ‘Immigrant Chronicle’, Skrzynecki’s poems ’10 Mary Street’ and ‘Migrant Hostel’ particularly demonstrate the positive and negative effects place can have on one’s ability to belong. ’10 Mary Street’ deals with a younger Skrzynecki’s experiences living within his working class family home in a positive environment whilst ‘Migrant Hostel’ deals with the very early memories of living in the migrant camps within Australia and, though it isn’t a positive atmosphere, is viewed by Skrzynecki as the first real place that he can consider ‘home’ and can therefore belong to. The Pursuit of Happiness also deals with the issue of the need to belong to a place through the unfolding story of Chris Gardner and his son as they face barriers such as homelessness.

Firstly, Peter Skrzynecki’s poem ’10 Mary Street’ represents the need to belong to a place through the use of several key language techniques and devices. The main language techniques deal with the key theme brought up in the poem about how living at the home was like clockwork and the fact that Skrzynecki’s mother and father were always following some sort of routine with their lives. One such example of this routine is seen in the line ‘For nineteen years we departed…like a well-oiled lock’. The use of simile in the phrase ‘like a well-oiled lock’ indicates the positive image of the Skrzynecki household going through the sense of routine. The nineteen years also adds depth to this interpretation and gives the sense that the place that Skrzynecki belonged to was important to him, both as a child and as an adult. Another key line that is similar to this theme of a routine is seen later in the poem, ‘Back at from the polite hum-drum of washing clothes and laying sewerage pipes’. As can be seen from the...
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