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Essay by jacintaa21 August 2014

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Belonging Essay

The conceptual understanding of belonging forms as an innate desire for human connection. It enables a sense of security and a psychological sense of comfort and thus forms a quintessential aspect of social life. The repercussions of an unfulfilled sense of belonging are articulated within Skryznecki's poems, Migrant Hostel, and 10 Mary Street alongside Michael Sabjel's 21st Century drama, The Ultimate Gift. Both texts explore the aforementioned understanding of belonging in a personal voice through their textually dynamic mediums.

Attempted integration into a new societal context presents challenges for an individual namely the dislocation from cultural heritage and the surrounding world. Peter Skryznecki's poem, Migrant Hostel, dwells upon the thematic idea of displacement as a means to justify the individual's sense of uncertainty and isolation which plagues the poem. The opening stanza of Migrant Hostel encapsulates the transient status of the immigrants who stay at the hostel "comings and goings", "arrivals of newcomers" and "sudden departures" as a means to juxtapose the temporality with psychological stigmas associated with an immigrant's plight, notably instability which is detrimental to one's sense of belonging.

This is achieved metaphorically in the textual conveyance of the anonymity of migrants' personal history and future. The simile 'we lived like birds of passage' highlights the migrant's lack of stability and the impermanence of their situation. The image of birds equates the migrating flock with the group of individuals to highlight the migrants' instability within life as a result of continual relocation. Skryznecki employs this animalistic imagery dehumanising the migrant experience. Effectually, the migrant's experience provides psychological linkages between individuals and their place within society.

An individual may struggle to integrate into a world of a lower societal class. In Michael Sabjel's film, The Ultimate Gift, Jason a 'trust fund baby', is thrust into a new...