Peter Skrzynecki Belonging Essay

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English essay: Fiona Mudie As humans we all have a desire to belong, to fit in and be accepted without question by the world surrounding us. Belonging is achieved by having an unseen connection and a sense of relationship with a person, group, society or place. We are all born with a longing to belong in our world, and this need intensifies as we grow older and face the unexpected challenges thrown our way, as belonging gives us a sense of security and the absence of this needed feeling will lead to an individual feeling isolated and disconnected from their surroundings. The poet Peter Skrzynecki explores and expresses the importance of having a connection with a place in his poems “Migrant Hostel” and “10 Mary Street”. They both express how having a sense of belonging or feeling as if you don’t belong to a certain place can shape and influence our individual identity. In the poem “Mirant Hostel” the writer describes the migrants experience while they lived in a migrant hostel when first arriving to Australia; this text explores a number of concepts that relate to both belonging and not belonging such as displacement, location, dislocation, culture and isolation. The poem begins with a rather miserable tone “No one kept count of the comings and goings” representing a lack of identity and indicating that the newcomers are experiencing a sense of confusion as they do not belong to their surroundings. The writer uses similes and imagery throughout the text to highlight the migrant’s instinct and desire to belong and find their home but they can’t seem to achieve this, “For two years we lived like birds of passage, always sensing a change.” The bird imagery represents the temporary life style the migrants are living, showing a sense of displacement. The imagery of the “barrier at the main gate” is a symbolic barrier that prevents the migrants from forming any sense
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