Individuals often face a struggle to overcome the multiple barriers that prevent belonging, however we find that belonging is achieved by being in an environment that fosters a state of mind in which we understand and accept our identity and the world around us. These notions of belonging are epitomised in; Jane Harrisons play Rainbows End , David Malof's novel The Great world and the movie directed by Sean Penn, Into the Wild.
In Jane Harrissons play Rainbows End many of the characters find it hard to belong without connections to the land and without being accepted into the environment around them. Gladys has a strong desire to be accepted into the white community. This is shown through the repetition of ‘white’ and cleanliness throughout the play, showing that she isn't able to reach a state of mind in which she feels accepted. The recurring motif of white: ‘white gloves’, ‘white shoes’, ‘guaranteed to turn your skin white’, – reinforces the gulf of difference between the Aboriginals and the wider white community. Gladys doesn't feel accepted into the community and therefore she cannot completely understand her own identity, an essential part of establishing a sense of belonging.
The same notion of belonging is evident in Malouf's novel which focuses on the lives of two men, Vic and Digger, and their experiences and relationships and the way in which these impact on their identity and their metaphysical connection with their environment. Vic is a character who struggles to understand who he is due to his very physical approach to belonging, epitomised through the metaphor: “The line that went downwards straight through you into the earth”. It is apparent to me that Vic sees belonging as a physical condition, with the third person omniscient narrator saying that “his body had the final word”. This dominance of the body prohibits him from reaching a mindset in which he is able to comprehend his identity and place in the world.
In the same...
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