Our innate need to belong can only be satisfied through stout connections to people, place and culture, built upon a stable social platform; however the highest levels of belonging are a state of mind, a perception. This perception, in the case of immigrants, is both influenced and hindered by xenophobic and prejudicial barriers forced upon them by the ‘new world’ society, this immigrant struggle is illuminated through Peter Skryznecki’s “Migrant Hostel”. Skryznecki’s “Migrant Hostel” demonstrates the importance of one’s social connections in terms of belonging and the detrimental effects that the loss of culture can have on one’s identity. The instability and uncertainty that stemmed from the migrant’s loss of culture is seen in the opening stanza, “that left us wondering Who would be coming next”. This line is surrounded by a melancholy tone and the use of enjambment stresses the word “who” highlighting the uncertainty of the migrant existence. Within the first stanza, words and phrases like ‘comings and goings’, ‘arrivals’, and ‘sudden departures’ have been cleverly used by the composer to suggest the transient nature of the migrant belonging. The migrant’s desire to find a common friend and social stability is expressed through the motif of migratory birds. They “sought each other out instinctively – Like a homing pigeon circling to get its bearings”, this simile is indicative of our intrinsic need to belong and by comparing the immigration to a pigeon circling to get its bearings, the composer has stressed the cultural confusion caused by their displacement. As they “lived like birds of passage Always sensing a change in the weather” the composer has again suggested that the migrant’s accommodation, existence and identity are impermanent. Skryznecki also touches on the fine line between belonging and not belonging. In the wake of world war II, millions of displaced migrants existed only in a nether world, caught between a former homeland and a new world that...
...Belonging: Peter Skrzynecki study notes
• Restate the topic
• Define : belonging is a universal feeling which gives an individual the sense of acceptance or isolation for themselves and their surroundings
• Name texts:
o Migranthostel, 10 Mary Street, St. Pats college, from PS Immigrant chronicle
o LFA, Melina Marchetta
Paragraph One – MigrantHostel
• Topic sentence – link toMigrantHostel
• Technique, example, effect
• The poem describes the pessimistic experiences of the author and others in the Migranthostel in Parkes
o ‘constant comings and goings’ – unpleasant situation, characterises mood of disappointment
o “a barrier at the main gate sealed off the highway” – constant change, captivity, feel unsettled, unsure about themselves, barrier represents entrapment reinforced by the word sealed
o “as it rose and fell like a finger” – simile – patronising attitudes and authorities
o Changing environment creates the feeling of alienation and being alone
o “no one kept count” – not belonging, feel like they are of no importance,
o ‘wondering’ – connotations of confusion and absence of certainty
o ‘bus loads’ – enhancing mood of chaos
o “only begun or were dying” – contrast – suggesting their losing all their ties to their homeland as they fight to begin a new life...
...Belonging essay –
(Paraphrase of the question asked). Sometimes a sense of not belonging can be based on issues outside our control. The texts, Peter Skrzynecki immigrant chronicles (Migranthostel/ Feliks Skrzynecki/ Saint Patricks) express the issues of belonging, alienation and segregation. The related texts, “Bend it like Beckham” directed by Gurinder Chada and “the Simpsons episode summer of 4’2’” directed by Matt Groening, explore the concepts of racism and discrimination and their feeling of not belonging. Through a variety of poetic, visual and film techniques used in the texts stated help the viewer visualise and witness the concept of belonging or not belonging.
One of the poems written by Peter Skrzynecki “Feliks Skrzynecki” effectively highlights how the concept of acceptance can vary from person to person. In the Feliks Skrzynecki poem we learn that Feliks feels he belongs and whereas Peter does not. The simile “loved his garden like an only child” and the hyperbole “Spent years walking its perimeter” conveys Feliks strong connection and sense of belonging with his environment as opposed to the external environment (society). The techniques this highlights that although he is unable to belong with the outside world (due to his past and background) he is able to block out the majority of...
...Acceptance is an important aspect of belonging
Paragraph 1: (MigrantHostel)
Peter Skrzynecki’s poem MigrantHostel explores how Immigrants can feel excluded and alienated from a new society, which does not fully accept them. This poem describes vividly the experience of Skrzynecki and his parents and their unpleasant journey of staying at the Parkes hostel from 1949-51 when they migrated to Australia. From the opening stanza, the poem begins on a negative tone with “No one kept count of all the comings and goings” this emphasises how many foreigners were trapped in the transient hostel and how they felt as if they were not even a number as the bureaucracy couldn’t keep count of them all. The fact that the immigrants were not named or labeled further emphasises the lack of acceptance the immigrants felt from Australian society. The sense of alienation of the migrants and disapproval of the outside world is conveyed in the final stanza of the poem where the poet describes how “A barrier at the main gate sealed off the highway from our doorstep”. This motif of barriers is present throughout the poem and symbolises the Australian society excluding them. This barrier foreshadows the obstacle of moving to a new place and becoming a part of the Australian Society. This motif expresses the difference between the immigrants and Australian...
...Peter Skrzynecki explores various aspects of belonging and not belonging in his poems "ancestors", "Feliks", and "10 Mary Street". Using language techniques such as enjambment, simile, metaphor and alliteration Peter Skrzynecki broadens the reader's concept of belonging through the medium of poetry. Peter Skrzynecki uses the theme of not belonging in his poems to contrast, and thereby better convey, his ideas on belonging. The poem "Feliks" explores the relationship between Peter and his father and represents Peter's ideas about belonging by contrasting his immigrant father's sense of belonging with his own sense of belonging as a youth torn between two culturally opposing worlds while at the same time exploring the alienation Peter feels from his fathers world. The poem "ancestors" further compounds Peter's feelings of alienation from his culture, heritage and land of birth while the poem "10 Mary Street" investigates the alienation immigrants can feel in their new homeland
It is only when everyone is different, that everyone will belong." I think this is a sugar coated attempting to umbrella a subject that can't be contained by such a perfectly scripted sentence as there is nothing about belonging that has been perfected. As senior students who have been studying 'outsiders'...
...MigrantHostelPeter Skryznecki’s poetic text explores the timeless concept of belonging in the mid 20th century. In the opening stanza, through the use of sibilance, the gentle‘s’ sound in “the comings and goings – Arrivals of newcomers In busloads from the station” creates a feeling of movement and change, as these migrants have arrived in Australia; a bustling city. Through this, Skrzynecki shows that thesemigrants, though they may be disorientated by their new surroundings, are moving as a group, suggesting their inclusion of other migrants and movement to seek refuge. Another aural technique is used within the first stanza, that is, alliteration. The soft letter ‘w’ within “wondering who would be coming next” conveys the migrants’ tone of hopelessness and evokes emotion within the audience and so vividly displays the loneliness of the migrants as well as their lack of understanding in such a new environment.
Skrzynecki’s poem is also littered with similes – “Like a homing pigeon Circling to get its bearings” portrays the lost migrants who seek out others who would be in their group. In doing so, these people are looking for a place of familiarity to belong and so, find sanction. This union is also emphasised through the historical allusion noted within the poem, where “the memories of hunger and hate” suggest the...
...The poem ‘MigrantHostel’ shows feelings of confusion and loss for the persona, and how they feel no sense of place or belonging, due to the interactions with society and how the society doesn't want the migrants to be a part of their community. The poem reveals a historical fact through the date and place name, this shows that this poem is personal and establishes the reality of this experience. The transient nature shown through the poem is represented by the description in the first stanza, ‘comings and goings... arrivals... departures’ which establishes a feeling of confusion. The statement ‘No one kept count’ shows that there is a lack of identity, the many migrants are lost and abandoned, in hope for a brighter future.
In the second stanza the simile ‘like a homing pigeon’ is used to show that they are desperately seeking connection and reassurance with people from the same ‘nationalities’. The metaphoric line ‘partitioned off at night’ displays their separation from the other cultures, but more dramatically they feel separated from society. All they have is ‘memories of hunger and hate’ – a burden that they have to carry – they have seen too much and felt too much pain. They can’t think properly because they are too scared of what will happen next.
The third stanza compares the migrants with birds (simile) to show how that have been constantly shifted, and have lack of control and...
...Peter Skrzynecki's 'MigrantHostel', Parkes 1949 - 1951, illustrates how in the initial stages of belonging, people feel insecure, experience doubt and fear and search for friendships to establish a sense of security.
The poem is in 4 stanzas and each stanza is more than 6 lines long. Each stanza is one sentence and several ideas are brought out within each sentence. This syntax visually shows how doubtful and tentative themigrants were when they came to Australia.
Australia was supposed to be a haven for these troubled masses who were coming from prison-like camps during World War 2 and, ironically, the migrants were transported to hostels similar to their prisoner of war camps.
The title itself is ironic in the poem, because hostels were supposed to give comfort but this one in Parkes created a sense of insecurity and alienation.
To overcome this insecurity, Skrzynecki's family sought for friendships, instinctively linking on with people of similar accents, surnames and places of origin. Similes such as "nationalities sought each out instinctively - a homing pigeon" and "we lived like birds of passage - always sensing a change in the weather" show, for belonging, they needed friendship and trust. Symbolically, pigeons - like these European migrants - were also foreign birds that were brought from overseas to find a home in...
...Belonging explores the idea of rejection and alienation within a foreign society along with acceptance gained from like-minded individuals. This feeling of rejection and alienation in ‘MigrantHostel’ is heightened by the imprisoning style of the hostels. The restrictive diction in the phrase “a barrier at the main gate sealed off the highway” denotes the sense of entrapment felt by the migrants. This is a physical, cultural and mental barrier, which represents the perceived attitude of the wider external society which creates a sense of self alienation and entrapment by acting as a constant reminder to themselves that they are not wanted, and this causes the profound feeling of contempt. The “highway”, is a metaphor for a sense of confident change which leads to the life opportunity of growth and enlightenment, but is restricted to those who possess an Australian identity. The personification of the gate, “as it rose and fell like a finger pointed in reprimand or shame”, highlighting the remorse and blame they feel as a result of their conflicting heritage. The ominous tone of the poem’s last lines, “that had only begun or were dying”, reinforces the restrictions imposed on the migrants, and implies the death and loss of the old; an old that may represent an old life, tradition, expectation, value or culture or an old way of thinking. Being withdrawn or isolated from the world or from a...