Belonging

Topics: Uglies, Tally Youngblood, Scott Westerfeld Pages: 4 (1281 words) Published: July 10, 2013
Belonging consists of a struggle with opposing pressures. A desire to belong also consists of emotional conflicts and struggles between being acknowledged while also remaining as an individual and retaining personal ideals which may ultimately result in a connection. This is explored in Emily Dickinson’s selected poetry I died for beauty, but was scarce and I had been hungry all the years , as well as Scott Westerfeld’s novel Uglies. These texts all depict a struggle between being recognised and accepted in society and the desire to remain true to one’s self, exploring the paradoxical nature of belonging which, on one hand, provides fulfilment, but also removes a sense of personal identity. Dickinson’s I died for beauty, but was scarce examines the struggle between opposing pressures of individuality as an artist and a search for acceptance through the persona’s attempt to acquire fulfilment after death. The persona’s introduction as an outsider due to a lack of conformity in society is clearly illustrated in the first line of the poem “I died for beauty, but was scarce” where “scarce” serves to emphasise the persona’s lack of recognition and acknowledgement while she was alive. The introduction of the secondary persona metaphorically juxtaposes this as “one who died for truth”, implying a difference between the two who are placed in “adjoining rooms” as an imagery of distance due to their differences, also showing the persona’s struggle with opposing pressures to reach out, yet building a wall when in fear of losing her individuality. An examination of the paradoxical nature of belonging that creates struggles is also evident through the persona’s death “for beauty” where beauty is a symbolisation for Dickinson’s art is perceived as a failure as she is questioned as to “why I failed?”, showing the view of her society where a lack of conformity is seen as a failure and illustrates her absence of belonging in society as a result of choosing to retain her...
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