“the Struggle to Find One's Place Is Significant in the Lives of Some People.”

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The hardships that lead to one finding a sense of belonging is of the utmost importance to many people, but those barriers may at times seem to difficult to overcome. To find one’s place is very difficult to do, therefore the steps one took to get there should be considered very important. Some of the barriers one may face on the path towards belonging can include a clash in cultures, or even a breakdown in present senses of belonging, even if they are not particularly significant to oneself. These ideas can be seen in the poetry of Peter Skrzynecki, namely the poems “Feliks Skrzynecki” and “10 Mary Street” as well as Melina Marchetta’s novel “Looking for Alibrandi” and Roberto Benigni 1992 film “Life is Beautiful”. They incorporate the struggle of finding one’s place with the barriers they face and how difficult it can be to overcome them.

Culture clashes are a very significant barrier to belonging, as they are very difficult to overcome. When individuals have opposing values, it can be hard to come to any sort of agreement or compromise. “Feliks Skrzynecki” is a poem Peter wrote about his father. Peter’s efforts to assimilate clash with his father’s traditional behaviour and Peter is frustrated by how his father continues to keep up old traditions. Polish jargon with the term “Kielbasa” is used to reinforce how strong the Polish culture is in this environment. Although they have migrated to Australia they still have the ability to keep up old behaviour. “That formal address I never got used to” conveys an unsettled tone; as though Peter is not at ease with that sort of behaviour. It shows how much he has assimilated into Australian society.

“Looking for Alibrandi” also uses this idea. “Nonna tends to believe that the more you suffer on earth the better reward is in heaven” uses religious allusions to enforce a cultural stereotype. The phrase is delivered in a sarcastic tone, within its context making it clear that Josie, the female...
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