The Simple Gift

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The idea of belonging is conveyed in several ways throughout these three texts, the novel ‘A Simple Gift’, by Steven Herrick, the song ‘She’s Leaving Home’ by The Beatles, and an image from an online art site. By analyzing these texts, you’re drawn to many conclusions on belonging, such as the idea that the need to belong shapes our behaviour, attitudes and actions, as well as the realisation that belonging is a basic human need to be accepted. In Steven Herrick’s novel ‘A Simple Gift’, he uses various techniques to portray belonging or the lack thereof. One technique used is Multiple Narrators, such as Caitlin, Billy and Old Bill, which not only allows you to see several situations through more than one pair of eyes, but also shows how important it is to connect to other people, as well as relationships. Multiple Narrators also tells of how each feels in terms of how and where they belong. Overall, it tells us how everyone feels the need to belong, no matter what their circumstances in life. Another technique Steven Herrick uses is Recurrent Symbolic Images such as gifts and birds. For example, the ring Billy presents to Caitlin. Gifts represent the need to connect, it’s shows compassion and reveals friendships between people. Friendship is a form of belonging, as they belong to each other, whereas birds represent freedom, and a new life. They’re used when Billy, Caitlin and Old Bill begin their new lives, their lives that are slowly developing back into society. Therefore, we’re shown of how, together, they’re able to belong to bigger things than just each other, such as a community. Metaphors, a third technique used throughout, tells of how they belong through the subtle use of metaphoric language, such as in the verse ‘Making Love’, where it compares love-making to falling into the crystal blue of the Benderat River. It tells of how Billy and Caitlin are submerged in love, and in each other. It also tells of how it makes Billy feel clean and good, as it’s...
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