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Belonging

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Question: “A sense of belonging requires an understanding of one’s past”. To what extent is this notion of belonging explored in your prescribed text and 1 related text?

Response A sense of belonging can be found in many different places. But for one to belong to self, group or place one must fully understand one’s past. Peter Skrzynecki’s “10 Mary Street” and “Migrant Hostel” are two poems that explore his past, showing his attitudes and his quest to belong. Another text that explores this author’s past is John J. Encarnacao’s short tory “Coming of Age in Australia”. These texts all explore relationships and feelings of cultural isolation. Relationships can be found in all 3 texts. Whether they are in the past or the present, they still form a basis to belong. Skrzynecki’s poem “Migrant Hostel” depicts the first place that Skrzynecki arrives in Australia. From the beginning, it can been seen that Skrzynecki belongs to a forever changing group, a group of migrants held in a hostel where “No one kept count - Off all the comings and goings.” These opening lines give a sense of insecurity and instability. However, the “Arrival of newcomers”, shows the positive side of the migrant group, all embracing each other, and belonging to each other. With out this experience, however negative it may seem, Skrzynecki would not have been able to retell this story, his story, and find the places, or groups that he belongs to today. Another poem of Skrzynecki’s that explores relationships is “10 Mary Street”. Throughout this poem, the reader watches young Skrzynecki grow up and develop. In the beginning of the poem, Skrzynecki is naive to the world around him, “For nineteen years we departed each morning - Shut the house - Like a well-oiled lock”. He is placed into a routine. He does not know his own way, only to do as he is told. This poem explores the lack of a relationship, this lack that could shape one and possibly damage one’s self. “My Parents watered plants... Show More

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