The Immigrant Chronicle Poem Analysis

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The universal need for a sense of belonging attests to the human propensity for interconnection and interdependence. It is an inextricable part of the human condition to continually seek physical and spiritual connection with people and places within one’s personal spectrum of life. The greatest challenge, however, lies in establishing an equilibrium between ‘selfhood’ and the broader social paradigm. A failure to reconcile between individuality and cultural conformity can result in physical isolation and emotional detachment. Peter Skrzynecki’s poetry compilation The Immigrant Chronicle and Tim Burton’s stop-motion film Vincent are two texts which convincingly depict the multiplicity of obstacles and barriers which can hinder one’s ability…show more content…
Feliks Skrzynecki depicts the cultural chasm between the young persona and his father, symbolically representing the struggles of migrants to belong in a foreign country. The father's strong sense of cultural affiliation with Poland is clearly portrayed with his preoccupation with the garden: “Loved his garden like an only child.” The simile conveys the irony of how he seems more affectionate towards the garden than his actual son, which is interpreted by Peter as a paternal rejection. The garden is a metaphor of cultural connection which allows Feliks to define Australia as an extension of his homeland ‘Poland’. In contrast, the persona's inability to share his father’s zeal results in his failure to belong to either Poland or Australia. The historical allusion in the line, "Pegging my tents further and further south of Hadrian's Wall" exemplifies the increasing distance between the father and son as well as evincing the geographical disconnection from the persona’s homeland. Peter's alienation is emphasized through the anaphora of the possessive pronoun in ‘His Polish friends’, ‘His Dog’ and ‘His Garden’, explicating that his father’s world of Polish culture is a territory into which he cannot trespass. Furthermore, Feliks’ satisfaction with his sentimental lifestyle is exemplified through the serene imagery of how he "Sits out the evening……show more content…
In Skrzynecki's poem, “Postcard”, the persona is isolated and tormented due to his inability to develop a spiritual and cultural rapport with Warsaw, whilst the persona's parents retain an affectionate affinity for their homeland. This inability to connect with his cultural heritage is partly due to his assimilation of the Australian culture, leaving him bewildered and indignant, thus elucidating the importance of one's cultural heritage in empowering a sense of belonging. Immediately, the anachronistic writing on the card "Warsaw of the old town" delineates his estrangement and puzzlement to his cultural realm. This is further reinforced as Skrzynecki’s personifies the city, using second person to evoke his annoyance and exasperation in "I repeat, I never knew you, let me be", the perturbed tone emphasizes his disconsolate attitude due to the difficulty of linking with his polish derivation. Accordingly, his cultural alienation and discrepancy is further exemplified through the personified ‘lone tree’ which whispers eloquently, "We will meet before you die." This haunting beckoning from his homeland shows how Skrzynecki knows as a Polish migrant he will need to establish a spiritual connection with Warsaw, despite him currently being unwilling and unable to. Whilst Feliks Skrzynecki and Vincent demonstrate

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