Belonging - the Duchess

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Connections and lack of connections influence our sense of belonging Belonging is an unconscious, inherent desire and is accepted as a natural part of human nature. Belonging, thereby, can be influenced by the connections or lack thereof, people make with other people, places or cultures. This is demonstrated in Peter Skrzynecki’s ‘Feliks Skrzynecki’ written in 1975, which describes the lack of connection between the persona and his father and ‘The Duchess’ directed by Saul Dibb in 2008, which details the conflicts of an arranged marriage. Together these texts both explore the consequences that the different facets of both alienation and the presence of an authentic connection have and through them, we can see that both connections and the lack of connections impact on and shape both one’s identity and one’s sense of belonging. In both texts, one of the key premises is the idea of alienation of the persona which in turn causes a sense of not belonging. In Feliks Skrzynecki, a lack of connection between the persona and the father is shown from the commentary of the persona’s father. “His Polish friends/always shook hands too violently.” The spectating nature of the persona’s attitude gives a sense of disconnection between the persona and his father. “I thought….Feliks Skrzynecki.” The use of ellipsis isolates the persona, as we are given his own perspective with no relation to his father. The emotional distance created by the father causes the persona to feel unwanted and disconnected. The simile “loved his garden like an only child,” shows the disregard the father has for the son and the emotional void between them. This is symbolic of the lack of belonging felt by the persona and we see a similar disconnection formed between Georgina, the Duchess of Devonshire and William, her husband, the Duke of Devonshire in the film, The Duchess. Her inability to produce a
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