"Swallow the Air, "The Secret Garden" and "The Seven Stages of Grieving" Year 12 Speech

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  • Topic: The Secret Garden, Choice, Mother
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  • Published : May 24, 2013
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How do the texts you have studied communicate a sense of identity arising from the choices to belong or not to belong? (In 7:45-8:15 minutes)

Introduction:
Hey everyone, hope your enjoying your lunch. I’ve never spoken at a literary lunch before but I really did enjoy this book that I’ve read recently so, yeah. The book I’m talking about is “Swallow The Air.”

If you’ve read it then you might know that there’s a small piece of writing at the very beginning that describes the work of a Chinese artist. Now, I googled him and it turns out that he was born into a wealthy family but chose to live a life of poverty. I had to think about this for a while before coming to the conclusion that this was a decision that was meant to eliminate distractions so he could be closer to himself. I’ve learnt from this man that in order to feel a sense of belonging you have to first know who you are. My thesis is: A person’s identity is found in what is most important to them. Choices made in order to keep these things close are choices that strengthen identity and only once questions of individual identity are resolved, can one truly and whole-heartedly fit in with the rest of the world.

Point 1:
Things that are important to the characters

So in order to keep the things that are important to you close, you first have to know what the important things in your life are. Right? For example: May Gibson of “Swallow The Air” has a special connection to nature. Water, in particular, is often referenced to draw attention to the other important aspect of her identity. This is family. When May looks back on having “tea parties underwater.” With her brother, It’s a happy memory. In another world, friends and family are most important to Mary Lennox, the young protagonist of the film “The Secret Garden.” Director Agneiska Holland incorporates an idea of belief in magic and the supernatural in moments of importance throughout. The opening scenes are set in India which Mary...
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