Belonging Essay

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Related Material for Area of Study: Belonging Title: The Island Composer: Armin Greder Text type/Genre: Picture Book Source and Date: The Island published by Allen & Unwin, 2007 (2nd edition) Synopsis of text : The picture book by Armin Greder is a poignant allegory that uses minimal text and provocative imagery to relay the negative concepts of belonging. Triggered by the events of a foreigner washing up on their island, the inhabitants although weary of the man take him in however this seemingly reactionary human response leads to fierce conflict and harsh reverberations throughout the entire island community. What issues related to Belonging (and/or not belonging) are raised in this text? The text presents a series of issues pertaining to the concept of belonging and juxtaposes the fine balance it engages with not belonging. The “Island” itself establishes its own connotations with not belonging, as in itself it is a separate and isolated land mass, metaphoric of the nature of the ‘island’ inhabitants. The use of imagery in the picture book is paramount as it quintessentially portrays the issues at hand and is inextricably linked to the text itself, personifying the nature of belonging and broadening the inherent ideals of what it means to belong. From the outset, the notion of not belonging is established most primitively, through the way of appearances, as this foreigner is completely unalike to the inhabitants of the island. The author then contrasts the evident sense of belonging originating in the island inhabitants, as they display signs of ‘mob mentality’ or what is also known as groupthink. This ideal proposes that overemphasis placed on belonging can create a situation of deindividuation, where members lose all self-awareness and become anonymous entities so as to diffuse an apparent responsibility and rely solely on the group as

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