Almost French Belonging Analysis

490 Words2 Pages
Belonging is an intrinsic notion dependent on a complex number of factors, explored in Sarah Turnbull’s novel, ‘Almost French’, which examines how an individual’s capacity to belong is influenced by their personal background, surrounding environment, and a willingness to conform. When Sarah arrives in France, her foreign background is apparent in her frequent repetition of ‘The French’ in the third person, dissociating her from the Parisian locals. The metaphor ‘Conversation is a game; the courtiers cruelly competitive’, alludes to the court of Louis XVI, where wordplay was a powerful weapon, indicating that Sarah’s ineptitude in French due to being Australian limits her ability to converse and develop relationships. The Epithet ‘Madame Nobody’ communicates her lack of identity in France, due to her embedded childhood values,…show more content…
Sarah’s altering perception is apparent through the Anaphora, ‘Nothing ventured. Nothing gained.’ implying that a shift in attitude is essential in forming attachments. Her resulting integration is clear from the Juxtaposition of France’s ‘brusque aloofness and soulful warmth’, insinuating her appreciation of the country’s flaws, and through this, ‘An oasis of calm beauty’, is achieved, the oasis symbolic of Sarah’s final conciliation with the land. In contrast, Jacques’s cynical view of the world remains consistent throughout Shakespeare’s ‘As you like it’, untouched by both the natural beauty of the Forest of Arden and the sophistication of the corrupted court. Thus it is clear, that an individual’s willingness is essential in establishing belonging. All in all, ‘Almost French’ has left me with an understanding that one’s personal background and familiarity with a place plays a key role in committing to a new environment. Though challenging, it can also benefit the individual through building their character and consequently becoming more
Open Document