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If belonging is defined as being accepted. Does an individual’s interaction with others and the world around them enrich or limit their sense of belonging? This depends on whether these interactions lead to acceptance and how they achieve this or whether they have the opposite effect of producing rejection. Steven Daldry’s film “Billy Elliot”, Jane Harrison’s play “Rainbows End”, and Anh Do’s memoir “The Happiest Refugee” explore this idea as the characters experience both encouragement and rejection in the pursuit of their goals. Billy Elliot’s interaction with the world of boxing is portrayed as chaotic. Daldry’s use of dizzying camera angles, ridiculous choreography, distracting piano playing in the background and aggressive yelling from the coach and Billy’s dad, convey Billy sense of pressure and confusion. The knock out marks his failure and the coach’s words, “You are a disgrace to this gym and to these boxing gloves” states the reality that Billy does not belong to his father’s world of boxing. With Mrs Wilkinson’s command to her students “feel the music” in the background, Billy transitions from punching the punching bag to swaying in time with it. Billy’s connection to the world of dance was subconscious and soothing. Mrs Wilkinson’s awareness of the significance of her interaction with billy is presented through her use of reverse psychology, “Please yourself, darlin’” and “If you’re not coming back, give us your shoes”. As a mother she is aware not to embarrass him and her discretion relaxes him and allows him to enjoy and improve his ballet. Through these contrasting examples of dialogue, it is evident that a softer approach has a welcoming effect, whilst an aggressive tone creates a barrier to belonging. Tony’s dispute with Miss Wilkinson, leads Billy’s mind into a confusion of continuing with dance or staying home and looking after his granny, Daldry shows this by Billy trying to break out of brick wall by an unusual choreography and the song...
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