Belonging is a fundamental part for all individuals in which we strive for acceptance and security through others. Understanding is a main part of feeling like you belonging. Individuals belong when they fell connected to others and the world. However to do this they must first have an understanding and acceptance of self which will nourish their sense of belonging. A lack of understanding of the concept of belonging and yourself leads to preventing your identity, relationships, acceptance and ultimately belonging. The concept of the understanding of belonging is shown in the text - Swallow the air by Tara Jane Winch.
In Swallow the Air, persona May Gibson shows a lack of understanding in her and therefore feels she does not belong. As soon as her mum commits suicide at the beginning of the novel May has trouble belonging, “When mum left I stopped being Aboriginal I stopped feeling like I belonged. Anywhere”. May has lost her security in her culture and identity. Costa the curry will tell u too link this back to understanding nourishes belonging
The name of the first chapter ‘swallow the air’ demonstrates May’s loss of belonging. The title is a metaphor of her disconnection to others, the community and her sense of belonging. She is not physically drowning in water she is drowning in pain and sorrow.
However by the end of the novel, the final chapter called ‘home’ signifies May’s attitude has changed dramatically. “I know what the word really means, home.” The word home is a universal term of belonging it represents that she has once again found ‘family’ and within that comfort.
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