Response to ‘The Simple Gift’ By Steven Herrick
The simple gift by Steven Herrick incorporates many of the key aspects that are related to belonging, and the negative effects of not belonging. His text demonstrates the simple passions of human nature and delves into the concepts of caring, simple kindness and a willingness to look past the exterior and accept a person for who they are. This idea of acceptance is shown clearly in Billy Luckett’s treatment of Old Bill, the homeless man who lives close to him in the train yards. Luckett’s simple gestures of kindness to the sad old man represent a clear aspect of belonging that is one of the key ideas in the concept of belonging. A sense of belonging is also displayed in Caitlin’s acceptance of Bill when he first appears in the Macdonald’s where she works, this acceptance is returned by Bill himself as he looks past the rich exterior to the person she is in side “and I looked back and saw past the shiny watch and the clean hair and the beautiful woollen over coat. I saw Caitlin, and I liked what I saw”. The negative effects of exclusion and not belonging can be seen also in his father’s harsh treatment of Bill, this is shown primarily when Bill makes the decision to leave his home and become homeless, showing that due to his exclusion in his own home, he has been forced to seek another place to call home. Belonging and the exclusion felt of not belonging has been incorporated well into Steven Herrick’s novel, the first person narrative voice of Bill, Old Bill and Caitlin all demonstrate what it means to belong, and the in depth feeling of sadness when one does not belong, or is not accepted for who they are. Bill Luckett is portrayed in this novel as a simple but caring boy who is forced to grow up quickly when he leaves his childhood home. He displays many of the key ideas that make up the concept of belonging, these are shown throughout the novel particularly with his treatment of the old homeless man he calls...
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