Summary Of Peter Skrzynecki's The Immigrant Chronicles

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The human psyche is driven by the desire to feel accepted and included followed by the underlying feature to socialise. This is explored through the concept of belonging which creates a duality nature in which an individual’s ability to interact with others in society can be of a positive and negative influence. Factors like the environment consist of social and cultural constructs which define a human’s sense of identity as it facilitates the notion of shared experiences and interest. However a lack of mutual identity can be of a negative nature as it isolates those who cannot conform to the expectation of other’s. On this basis, shared identity is clearly evident in Peter Skrzynecki’s anthology; The Immigrant Chronicles who describes the…show more content…
The poem St Patrick’s College reflects the social and cultural nature being imposed upon Skrzynecki through his mother’s idea “wanting only what was best”. The use of cliché highlights the mother’s conformity with her “employer’s sons” as she was “impressed by the uniforms” suggesting that she was swayed by outward appearances, which is evident by the poet’s use of enjambment to exemplified his regret and disconnection. Highlighted in “Our Lady watched with outstretched arms” St Pat’s tried to accept the poet however this is juxtaposed by the pathetic fallacy “overshadowed by clouds” which accentuates Skrzynecki’s misunderstanding of the Catholic ethos represented in the lines “I stuck pine needles/Luceat Lux Vestra/though was a brand of soap”. His disillusionment is further explored within the third stanza as we read “for eight years/Caught the 414 bus/like a foreign tourist”. The simile is followed by the “prison like’ connotation in “for eight years” expressing his boredom and disassociation which is expressed in the lines “Could say the Lord’s prayer in Latin, all in one breath”. Skrzynecki’s use of hyperbole highlights his “belief” which is supported by the repetition of “for eight years”. The use of sarcasm is combined with pride as the poet “prayed that his Mother would be proud”, highlighting the irony which is further emphasises in “before I let my light shine”. Skrzynecki emphasises that St Pat’s disabled him from enriching his sense of belonging and only though leaving did he find meaning with the school’s

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