The Need to Belong

Topics: Place, Personal life, 21st century Pages: 3 (965 words) Published: June 13, 2013
It is an inherent part of human nature to want to belong
Belonging as defined by the Oxford dictionary is a multifaceted concept, yet being every individual’s inherent desire to belong. Belonging is a universal concept. Those who don’t find a sense of belonging are certain to find themselves under the destructive cycle of isolation and self-alienation. Peter Skrzynecki’s “Immigrant Chronicles” serves to highlight the basic fundamental desire to belong and the importance it holds on each individual. This notion is further explored with Skrzynecki’s poems “St Patrick’s College”, “Feliks Skrzynecki” and Gabrielle Muccino’s 21st century film “Pursuit of Happyness”. The notion of belonging being an inherent part of human nature is extensively explored within St Patrick’s College. This poem is noticed to be Skrzynecki’s semi-autobiographical poem of his experiences in school. A tone of lethargy permeates throughout the poem to symbolize the persona’s disorientation and dislocation between himself and the school’s formalities. The persona recalls his schooling years as one of ‘darkness’, this can be contrasted to the school’s motto, Latin for “let your light shine”. The persona wanted to belong within the school as he wanted to make his mother “proud” as “everything was put into this”. The persona’s inherent desire to belong is explored within the text, but the protagonist felt a limitation to belonging as his inability to “shine” as he couldn’t belong to the school’s formalities, this being his place in the school and himself. This can be contrasted to the persona’s mother as she found a sense of belonging through the school’s religious roots and formalities as she “made a prayer” for her son in school. This is juxtaposed with the actions of her defiant son as he “stuck pine needles” into the school’s motto. This further creates an ironically stark barrier to belonging. The persona’s mother found her son’s success an inherent nature to want to belong. This is...
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