Feliks Skrzynecki 10 Mary Street Analysis

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“An individual’s interaction with others and the world around them can enrich or limit their experience of belonging.” Personal relationships can provide a deep sense of belonging and profoundly influence our values, attitudes and beliefs. Peter Skrzynecki’s poems “Feliks Skrzynecki” and “10 Mary Street” reflect upon what it means to belong and its ability to enrich or inhibit the individual’s sense of belonging. Similarly Shaun Tan’s 2006 graphic novel “The Arrival” delves into the migrant experience and the explores the process of belonging. Together these texts reveal how an individual’s relationships with the people and the world around them can limit or enrich their sense of belonging. The poem “Feliks Skrzynecki” explores the concept…show more content…
Skrzynecki looks at the changing nature of belonging and its impacts through his relationship with his father. Initially, the possessive pronoun “my gentle father” reveals their close relationship but as their cultural ties weaken they become distanced from one another. The growing alienation brought about by the detachment from Polish culture and the embracing of Australian culture is revealed when the poet to metaphorically pegs his tents “further and further south of Hadrian’s Wall” away from his traditional roots. As the poet distances himself from his culture and father, the simile “like a dumb prophet” reveals that both parties are powerless to prevent this inevitable separation. Being a first generation migrant, the father’s strong cultural bonds prevents his assimilation because of society’s intolerance towards migrants, as shown through the animalistic imagery of the…show more content…
In “10 Mary Street”, the poet’s home serves as a metaphorical tie between family members as the repeated inclusive first person pronoun “we” highlights the intimacy they shared. The security of belonging is established in the simile “like a well oiled lock” and accentuated in the hyperbole “guaranteed for another 10 years” to demonstrate Skrzynecki’s view that belonging to a place is just as strong as belonging to people. Like the protagonist in “The Arrival”, Skrzynecki was able to assimilate into society by becoming “citizens of the soil”, the metaphor revealing the secure sense of belonging achieved from forming solid connections to the land. Furthermore, the monotony of daily rituals “hiding the key…washing clothes” is ironically embraced, revealing the essence of belonging entails being comfortable in a safe and familiar environment. In stark contrast to “Feliks Skrzynecki”, the poet show strong cultural connections can consolidate a sense of belonging, as highlighted in the personification “we kept pre-war Europe alive”. Hanging onto traditions and heritage creates commonality which fosters stronger cultural ties. This is evident when the Skrzynecki family embraces their cuisine of “kielbasa, salt herrings, raw vodka”, the vivid olfactory imagery demonstrate the extent to which cultural identity supplements

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