Year 11 English Assessment Task- Belonging
The Island by Armin Greder:
Armin Greder’s ‘The Island’ is a picture book published August 2007, explores the negative aspects of belonging through alienation an outsider’s perspective of not belonging. The text uncovers an undesirable experience particularly the migrant experience. It follows a strange man entering a foreign island where he is unwelcomed and quickly judged based on his appearance. The cover of the book shows an intimating barrier around the island, which looks, dark and uninviting. This wall is a metaphor of the attitudes given off by the islanders towards the man, which are also unapproachable and unpleasant. This effect brings about the feelings of alienation experienced by the man, reflecting the negative aspects of belonging to a group or community. Throughout the text the islanders are drawn additionally threatening, as they are large, dark and armed. This is contrasted with the man’s petite frame and lack of clothing leaving him vulnerable and abnormal. Through this use of size and colour a direct link can be made between the man’s inability to belong and his distinctive appearance. This portrays to the audience how much society impacts a person’s experience of belonging or not belonging. Within the text, the islander’s attitude towards the man is prejudice and hostile. As the islanders say “I’m sure he wouldn’t like it here, so far away from his own kind”, negative connotations are revealed in the words “own kind”. This immediately tells the audience that this man is unlike the rest of society, displaying the effect of appearance on a person’s ability to assimilate into a new surrounding.
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