Through the Experiences of Belonging, a Sense of Place Can Be More Than Where the Action Is Set; It May Also Involve Our Position in the World, Our Community, Family and Self.

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A sense of belonging is an essential part of human experience; it is a desire shared by all. Belonging refers to the ability of an individual to fit in a specified place, environment or it may refer to an inner sense of belonging that comes from being true to oneself. This may involve our position in the world, fitting in with our community, family and self as these connections may influence whether an individual has a positive or negative perspective of belonging. The texts ‘The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller, ‘Siem Reap, Cambodia” by Greg Santos and the short film ‘The Story of Bubble boy” directed by Sean Ascroft, shows how belonging to a place is integral to human existence.

Belonging to a community fills an important need. However, the individual feels a deeper sense of belonging in being true to the self and to his or her own vision. The interplay of the two aspects of belonging to a community and self can be seen with reference to John Proctor. John Proctor belongs to Salem in the sense that he shares the community’s christian values and is “respected, even feared” in the town. But John Proctor is not as confident as he appears. A secret sinner, he “has come to regard himself as a kind of fraud”, “I cannot mount the gibbet like a saint”. The simile emphasises Proctor’s loss of an inner sense of belonging as goodness is his most important value. After his tears up his confession he says “...I do think that I see a shred of goodness in John Proctor..”, the understatement shows how much he has despised himself for confessing. Insights into belonging are also found in the Tropfest prizewinning short film, “The story of bubble boy”. In the short film, we see a young man who is so afraid of injury he lives indoors completely covered in bubble wrap. A sense is belonging is finally shown as he finally decides to venture into the real world. Bubble boy has an internal world, mainly made up of irrational fears of injury or death. His home is his place of refuge but...
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