In order to feel as though you belong, you must first understand who you are and where you come from. This is because if you don’t truly understand yourself and your surroundings, then you will never truly feel as though you belong where you are. The text ‘The Simple Gift’ by Steven Herrick highlights that in life understanding nourishes belonging. Alternatively they reveal that a lack of understanding prevents belonging. This is revealed through the use of free verse, first person, flashback, and symbolism
The Simple Gift is written in the form of free verse novel. The novel allows the story to be told from a number of perspectives, enabling the reader to know each character through their emotions, insecurities and ambitions. From this, we know that Billy is a sixteen year old runaway, Caitlin who comes from a wealthy family and Old Bill who is a homeless alcoholic. “I’m not proud. I’m sixteen and soon to be homeless. I sit on the veranda...” uses free verse novel conveying that Billy does not feel security and closeness at his own home. He decides to leave his home, choosing another path alone, despite of what lies ahead of him. “I don’t need to work at McDonald’s. Dad would rather....and mop floors” is an example from the perspective of Caitlin. Caitlin explains how wealthy her family and the unnecessary possessions she receives. The free verse novel exemplifies how rejective she is with what she has as if there was more to life than just valuables. The use of free verse novel enables both Billy and Caitlin with the mix of gender and social status that their lack of understanding prevents them from belonging.
The novel also portrays how a lack of understanding prevents belonging. Old Bill is troubled by his lack of understanding of his past. Being haunted for the rest of his life he is a homeless alcoholic who lost everything. Flashbacks are incorporated in the text to unfold the past. “In 1993, my ten year old daughter... that tree fell” uses a...
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