Belonging is knowing who you are, through trials and struggles that you will be familiar with yourself and can understand the reasons for your uniqueness. Belonging is not only about being accepted into a circle, but earning that place. Not just a member, but a leader. “No man is an island”, yet despite the most basic human need to belong, many chose to be alone. A sense of belonging is integrated through several different contexts and aspects of each individual’s everyday life. Three texts in which deeply explore both a sense of belonging and a sense of alienation are Steven Herrick’s The simple gift (2000), the 2006 movie directed by Richard Lagravanese Freedom writers and Armin Greder’s picture book The Island. Each text promotes a strong sense of belonging but also a strong sense of alienation and rejection through the use of social values and attitudes, cultural identity and personal relationships. These ideas are enhanced through the application of techniques such as foreshadowing, symbolism and juxtaposition, which help incorporate the message of what a sense of belonging.
The simple gift is a verse novel in which is told from the varied perspective of three narrators Billy, Old Bill and Caitlin. The novel deals with the issues of social acceptance and rejection and these are foregrounded by different voices whose personal experiences display both positive and negative aspects of social belonging. The main character, Billy is a young secluded and displaced boy in which eventually gains a very strong sense of belonging through the meaningful and powerful relationships. His transition form a misplaced boy living with “no hope” and in a “shit hole lonely down trodden house” (Longlands road) to a devoted young man occurs when he is welcomed to Bendarat, “the only town I’ve ever wanted to call home.” This is evident in the text when he states that his carriage is “my hotel Bendarat”. Through the use of the technique of irony this emphasizes that his...
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