"Hunger, love, pain, fear are some of those inner forces which rule the individual's instinct for self preservation." Belonging is a Perception, a perception of fitting in, connecting with others or a group of people. It involves ideas, thoughts and situations albeit in different contexts of which either stimulate feelings of belonging or not belonging. The Contexts in which belonging is perceived are Personal; relating to connections to a person, people or community of people. Cultural; relating to any sense of belonging emerging from a sense of belonging to any type of culture or cultural related ideals Historical; relating to a sense of belonging to ancestors, countries or a towns history Social; Relating to a sense of belonging to social groups, friends, or workplace.
The Simple Gift by Steven Herrick is a Verse-Novel, that deals with different aspects of belonging. It is Written from the perspective of the three main characters, Billy, Old Bill and Caitlin, with each character written like a journal entry.
The Book begins with Billy living with his dad in -nowheresville- in which billy feels no belonging to the community, any social group, and people including his abusive father, ‘But I didn’t have any friends, I didn’t want any. (p.102) That quote shows how due to the poor quality of any belonging in the town he'd rather go without. this isolation and lack of belonging cause billy to run away, in search of belonging in far off places. this is where he finds his first act of kindness directed towards him from ernie the train driver of the train billy got a ride on ‘Get your bag and come to the Guard’s van. there’s a heater that works, and some coffee.’ (p. 12)
After Billy runs away he end up in a town called bendarat in which he discovers initial rejection ‘As I near the town there’s more cars and school buses, yellow, full of kids shouting insults at me, the bum.’ (p. 21) But soon finds belonging in a physical sense quickly...
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