Belonging Essay

Topics: Poetry, The New School, The Caretaker Pages: 3 (994 words) Published: June 20, 2013
Belonging, in essence, refers to the notion associated with the connections individuals make with people, groups and places. Conversely, by belonging to a certain group or place others are indirectly excluded from belonging in the process. Belonging is a connection that we all, as humans, instinctively seek out; it forms part of our natural behavior. Through this process of belonging we ultimately conform and grow as a person, the outcome through which is our place in society is established. “The Immigrant Chronicle” by Peter Skrzynecki illustrates how difficult finding a sense of belonging can be by raising the issues experienced when attempting to assimilate in a new cultural environment with all the associated physical, personal and social changes. Similarly, Jeffery Smart’s painting “The New School” and the short film ‘Mr Cheng’ explore how barriers can hinder our sense of acceptance and belonging. Though it is an innate need to belong it is not always achieved. This idea is accentuated throughout “In the Folk Museum” as the composer struggles to relate to a history and culture which is not his own. The visit highlights his inner conflict of not knowing where he belongs. He does not feel like a ‘true’ Australian who may look at such ‘relics’ and see cultural significance to them and understand their historical value. Rather he views them in a detached sense “To remind of a past/ Which isn’t mine”. The poet uses a faceless caretaker as a representative of Australia’s past. She sits next to a “winnowing machine” an agricultural machine that separates grain from chaff, creating a metaphor for separating the ‘true’ Australians from new migrants. The poet illustrates the caretaker as dull and uninviting, matching her hair colour with the grey clay bottle that is in the museum; causing them to appear be made from the same entity adding to the composers discomfort and estrangement. The composer emphasises his lack of belonging by describing the colour of the museum...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • essay
  • Essays
  • Essay
  • essay
  • essay
  • Essay
  • Essay
  • Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free