Immigrant Chronicle: Poem Analysis

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Perceptions of belonging or not belonging vary. This concept is explored in Peter Skryznecki’s Immigrant Chronicle in the poem, Feliks Skryznecki. Feliks and Peter have different perceptions of their belonging in Australia and the necessity of belonging in Australia. In my related text, the movie Happy Feet, directed by George Miller, Mumble finds his differences alienate him from his penguin society and he begins a search to find a sense of belonging. Feliks, Peter’s immigrant father is the main subject of the poem, but Peter himself also becomes the subject as their ways of creating their places in the world are compared. Feliks is ‘at home’ in the world he creates for himself. Both male figures, father and son, create the lines that define…show more content…
The poem ends on a note of ambivalence and loss – the image of creating a widening distance from his childhood garden as he enters the wider world – through school and education and also through the boy’s exclusion from his parent’s past lives, their language and culture, as he becomes more Australian. My related text, ‘Happy Feet’ depicts the same concept, not belonging. It shows the effects of being different and the result of being excluded. In the beginning of the movie Mumble tries to be like everyone else and sing the penguin heart-song, but he can’t so he is excluded from the group as he is an embarrassment to himself and the colony. The elders banish him and Mumble embarks on a quest to find his true identity. In the same way language in Feliks Skryznecki is an important aspect of cultural identity, so too is singing the heart-song in Happy Feet. Mumbles inability to perform this ritual results in his alienation and unhappiness. Mumble is eventually renowned for his dancing and uses this newly developed talent to re-connect with Memphis, his father, and penguin society. Dialogue in the film in an exchange between Memphis and Mumble: Whatcha doin' there, boy?, [tap dancing] I'm happy, Pa! Whatcha doin' with your feet? [looks down] They're happy, too! demonstrates how dancing makes him content. Ultimately, dancing in the film becomes a metaphor for happiness and

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