In exploring the notion of belonging, texts reveal the influence of identity and values.
An individual’s sense of belonging is determined by their relationships with others and their ability to maintain their own strong values and morals whilst conforming to the requirements of the group. Those who refuse to compromise their values for the broader community may find themselves isolated, which in turn may affect their identity. In Shakespeare's tragi-comic play As You Like It, the characters form unusual relationships in an alternative environment enabling their true values and morals to be revealed and furthering the development of their identity. In David Frankel's film The Devil Wears Prada we see the refreshing nature of displacement from one’s natural environment and how following this alternate path exposes the challenges to one’s identity. Ultimately, both texts reflect the powerful impact of context on forming value driven relationships, resulting in changes to one’s identity and values.
An individual's relationship with others impacts upon their ability to belong, revealing the powerful role of values when appealing to the requirements of the group. Some people choose to define themselves through individuality, while others require the presence of others in order to belong. Shakespeare cleverly contrasts the familial relationships between Oliver and Orlando in comparison with Rosalind and Celia in his play As You Like It. The strong connection between Rosalind and Celia condemns them into banishment where the allusion to an impregnable bond is formed, "Dearer than the natural bonds of sisters." Their predicament is then juxtaposed with the disconnection between the brothers of Oliver and Orlando, which was created by the mistreatment and inequality experienced through primogeniture. Through emotive language Orlando enforces how "the horses are better bred" than him, alluding to animalistic treatment of him by his brother Oliver. It is Rosalind...
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