“We belong … like fish in water. We’re in our environment.” This quote from the New York Times shows the perception of belonging as the idea about connecting to a place, person, group or a community. 'Feliks Skrzynecki' by Peter Skrzynecki, 'I'm nobody! Who are you?' by Emily Dickinson and 'The Rabbits' by John Marsden & Shaun Tan show the concept of belonging as being contrasted towards the New York Times quote, showing the alienation and non-existent connection towards it. These texts have furthered my understanding on the perceptions of belonging by recognising the different concepts of connection to people, places and things.
The text “Feliks Skrzynecki” by Peter Skrzynecki shows the connection towards relationships (Himself and Peter) and the struggle of adapting to the new Australian culture from his own old Polish Heritage. The poem underlines the perception of belonging as alienation and a connection between family and culture. He reflects this in his poem by using “Happy as I have never been” which also shows Skrzynecki regretting that he cannot share his fathers contentment towards the world he has created for himself. The first stanza depicts Feliks Skrzynecki as a strong, hard-working, gentle and his own person, not driven by other peoples expectations. Skrzynecki uses a variety of poetic techniques to convey this. In the third stanza, Feliks Skrzynecki has some polish friends around. It shows the alienation between Peter Skrzynecki and his father by showing the traditional things that his father and his friends still use. “I thought... Feliks Skrzynecki/I never got used to.” In the last stanza, it shows the ever growing alienation towards Skrzynecki's father and his polish background. The Simile “After that, like a dumb prophet” and the Metaphor “Watched me pegging my tents” shows the distance, alienation and separation towards his heritage and his father. These techniques help show the