“Different people have different perceptions of belonging” speech Bridgette Ferrier
Good morning year 12 and thankyou for coming. Today I am here to discuss with you how “different people have different perceptions of belonging” through the analysis of Peter Skrzynecki’s poems ‘Feliks Skrzynecki’ and ‘St Patrick’s College’. As well as my own related texts, My place Episode 2. So what is belonging? Well perceptions and ideas of belonging or not belonging vary. These perceptions are shaped within personal, cultural, historical and social context. A sense of belonging can emerge from the connections made with people, place, group, communities and the larger world. Within Peter Skrzynecki’s poems, and My Place I will discuss with you aspects of belonging in terms of experiences, identity, relationships and acceptance and understanding.
Through out Peter Skrzynecki’s poem ‘Feliks Skrzynecki’ we explore Peter Skrzynecki’s perception of his relationship between him and his father, and the issues of adapting to the new Australian society and migrating from an old European culture as well as contrasting experiences of belonging and not belonging. In the poem Peter shows use the gap that widens between father and son as Peter matures “at thirteen”. Also the gap between Felik’s Polish culture and the new society of which Peter is becoming a part of. Feliks Skrzynecki is content in the environment he has created for himself, which depends greatly on his Polish heritage. Peter is not as much secure. He reflects that his father is “happy as I have never been”. The use of fist person narration throughout the poem shows us the poem is written from Peter’s perspective of his father and his personal feelings of belonging. Already in the first line, “My gentle Father”, we are shown a sense of belonging through the words “My” and “Father”. This shows a common emotion that you the audience can feel through the belongingness in a family which is a major part of your identity and relationships. In stanza one Feliks’ sense of belonging in his garden is shown in the simile “Loved his gardens like an only child” this shows us the attention that Feliks pays to his garden, at the expense of his son. This shows that Feliks finds a sense of belonging in a place, his garden, but peters sense of identity in his family is lost in his exclusion. Feliks spends a lot of time in his garden “From sunrise to sleep”. The exaggeration “why his arms didn’t fall off” referring to Feliks, reinforces the hard physical labour Feliks was capable of in his garden. This shows Felik’s perception of belonging is that he needs to make a place for himself in his new country and it shows how hard working Feliks is to make this place. Peter admires his father for this. The effect of the cliché “kept pace with the joneses of his own minds making” is that it shows use the responder how Feliks does not care about the standards set by his neighbours. He has his own values and he has his own place to belong. When a department clerk looks down on Feliks poor language skills “Did your father ever attempt to learn English?” who asked “in dancing bear grunts” which is a metaphor and shows the clerks lack of tolerance and understanding. The clerk’s perception of Felik’s belonging is of an immigrant even though Feliks has a perception of belonging to his garden. Personal pronouns used such as “I, he, his, my, me and they” shows peter’s personal reflections of belonging and not belonging during his growing up. “His house” peter feels excluded, “My Father” reflects Peter’s relationship and belonging with his father. As Peter matures in the poem his persecutions of his father change. As Peter come to realize his father’s Polish heritage still strongly influence his father Peter knows his father will never really belong in his new country. Peter admires his father’s contentment. Feliks has a different perspective of the world around him from Peter. Ironically his father is happier...
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