Belonging Essay

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Belonging speech Good morning guests and welcome to this book launch. I am honoured to be here today to be your guest speaker. Has anyone ever felt a time where you don’t belong? Either after a fight with family or something within yourself making you feel like you don’t belong anywhere? At some stage in everybody’s life, we often feel a sense of disconnection from the people and place around us. Authors often create this through their characters feeling a sense of dislocation from people and place. However, this can often act as a catalyst for them achieving a greater sense of self-acceptance and belonging. Tara June Winch effectively applies this concept of belonging to her novel ‘Swallow the Air’ through the character May and her experiences of disconnection to her family and home. I strongly advise you all to watch the film ‘The Black Balloon’ by Elissa Down. The magnanimous characters Thomas, Charlie and Jackie successfully express disconnection to place and people resulting with an overall effect of a heightened sense of belonging. Shaun Tan’s picture book, The Red Tree, immerses us in the nameless girl’s journey to find herself and where she is meant to be. This accentuates her longing to belong to a place and to achieve a sense of self-acceptance. May Gibson; the protagonist in the book ‘Swallow the Air’ by Tara June Winch often feels a sense of disconnection from her family. Her initial shift from connection to disconnection happens when her mother June dies. Her feeling of detachment can be seen in the contrast between chapters before her death compared to that of when she dies. The poetic language “The sea was again a silver moving gull, mirroring sunset’s embedded lilac” represents her enhanced fulfilment of belonging to her environment and people. Along with June’s death, Winch’s language changes, “I knew she was dead”. This simple and blunt

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