St Patricks College

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Belonging extended response

The statement "understanding nourishes belonging...a lack of uderstanding prevents" demonstrates how to truly belong to something you must first have an understanding of what you want to belong to. A sense of belonging is an integral part of the human condition, and intrinsic to the development of identity, in a number of ways. Peter Skryznecki's "St Patrick's College" and "Postcard" illustrates how individual identity is influenced by belonging. Peter Cowan's short story ironically named School uses contrasting techniques and contradictions to show how event though you may belong in one environment you may not in another. These texts emphasize how a sense of belonging can impact in a wide variety of ways on the particular individual.

"St. Patrick's college" explores the persona's disassociation with his school. The connection he feels with the school are solely the superficial feautures of routine and uniform. The poet makes it clear from the beginning how he feels alienated from the school that his mother insists on him going to, after being caught up in the superficial aspects of the school "impressed by the uniform of her employer's sons".

The only connection he feels is through the superficial features of uniform and routine. At the very start the poet makes clear the persona's alienation as it is his mother's desire to the school taken in by the same superficial features, "impressed by the uniform of her employer's sons". Sckrzynecki makes clear the persona's lack of connection from the very beginning.

The poet uses impersonal, "voices at bus-stops, litanies and hymns," to show emphasis on the distance the persona feels between himself and the school. This delineation is furthered through the technique of a simile, "like a foreign tourist", accentuating not only his sense of exclusion, but also his cultural differences. This is additionally emphasised by the insecurty created by the diction "uncertain" causing the...
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