The concept of belonging is one that is constantly explored. The idea of the various types of belonging and not belonging is represented through the presence or absence of connection. Many types of texts are used to clearly highlight this belief. These include the book ‘Rainbow’s End’, the short story ‘The ride of Zhu Bao Sheng’ and the short film ‘The story of bubble boy’. These three texts explore the concept of belonging in multiple ways through the use of numerous techniques. These techniques effectively and thoroughly highlight the importance of connections and the absence of connections and how they affect a sense of belonging. Rainbow’s End’ is a story written by Jane Harrison. It tells of the struggles for an Aboriginal family living in Australia and their fight to belong. They do not belong in the white Australian society as the two cultures share no connection. Rhetorical question and exclamation are used in the line ‘a black contestant? I’d like to see that! ‘. The use of these techniques effectively demonstrates the absence of connection between the Aboriginal family and the white people due to differences in culture and appearance.
Without this connection between Australians and Aborigines, Dolly and her family are unable to feel a sense of belonging in a society that isn’t of their own culture. The use of ellipsis is another technique used in the story to prove how connection or the absence of connection is used to represent belonging. In the line ‘sometimes you have to move on. Leave things behind… ‘ Nan dear’s feelings of loss and regret of things she cherished and connected with, such as her home, are shown. Nan dear possesses a deep connection with her previous home and felt a strong sense of belonging to her Aboriginal heritage.
This strong connection with her Aboriginal culture, also results in her disconnection with the Australian society, and the fact that she is unable to belong. Another technique used to convey the importance connection has with the ability of attaining belonging, is imagery. In the line ‘snake-oil skin’ the image that Nan dear has created of Errol, a white boy, is shared with the audience. Nan Dear immediately rejects Errol and does not trust him due to her previous experiences with white Australians. Due to this fear and lack of understanding by Nan dear, both she and Errol are unable to form a connection.
He is therefore prevented from belonging in their family. ‘The story of Bubble boy’ is a short film directed by Sean Ascroft. It explores the story of a simple man with a phobia of the outside world and its dangers. He secludes himself from others and society and as a result is unable to attain a sense of belonging. Throughout this short film, various types of film techniques are used to effectively convey the author’s message to the audience, of how a lack of connection with society prevents belonging. Symbolism is one example, as the ringing phone is used to symbolise a call from society. However Bubble boy does not answer.
It conveys the idea that due to Bubble Boy’s rejection of society, he is unable to form a connection with the outside world. It also symbolises his isolation from others and his absence of belonging with them. Close-ups are also well used in the film to show how connections and the absence of connections affect the ability of having a sense of belonging. The close-up of the mailbox, where Bubble boy receives and then rejects a letter, highlights his refusal to form a connection with the outside world. He isolates himself from people and events of the world, to make definite that he is living by himself in his own secluded world.
He does not belong with anyone or any place due to the fact that he has failed to make a connection. The use of juxtaposition of colours also depicts the importance of connection. The use of dark and light shows how different his world and the outside world are. Bubble boy remains in the dark, while the rest of society is in the light. This effectively shows the difference in the type of atmosphere Bubble boys live in compared to the outside world. Due to this difference they share no connection. Bubble Boy lives in gloom and dark and does not fit in with the bright and happiness conveyed as society. Symbolism is further employed in the film.
When Bubble Boy frees himself from isolation into society, he is able to share a connection with a girl. The bubble gum is used to symbolise the instant connection created between the two. As she blows a bubble, Bubble Boy feels a connection with her and enables him to feel as if he belongs in a society he once feared and rejected. The final text which effectively depicts how connection and a lack of connection affect a sense of belonging is the short story ‘The ride of Zhu Bao Sheng’ by Nick Long. This short story is based on the life of a Chinese boy adjusting to a new culture and his struggle to fit in and belong.
He shares different values, customs and language with this new society and these differences prevent him from connecting with others, and furthermore belonging. The use of rhetorical question in the line ‘who will i talk to? ‘ illustrate how isolated Zhu feels and how he shares no connection with anyone in this new environment. He has no feelings of companionship and connection in his new surroundings and without this he is not able to achieve a sense of belonging. The next techniques used in the line ‘he was alone’ include irony and emotive connotation in the word ‘alone’.
Zhu lives in a crowded area with many people, yet he still feels a sense of loneliness and isolation. Even though he is surrounded by people, without sharing any connection with them he does not feel as if he belongs. Further techniques used in the short story include imagery and symbolism. In the line ‘it reminded Zhu of a time when he had tried to feed a squirrel in a park’, the image of a squirrel deciding whether to take the chance of accepting food from a stranger is created. This squirrel is used as a symbol for the girl Zhu offers a can of drink to.
She is unsure about whether to accept it from a person who is so different. However she does accept it and an instant connection between her and Zhu is formed. As a result of this instant connection, Zhu obtains feelings of acceptance and belonging with the girl. The many techniques employed in these three texts, effectively highlight the importance of having or not having a connection with a place or person. To be able to form a connection in turn results in a sense of belonging. Without this connection however, a feeling of isolation and rejection is instead formed and as a result a lack of belonging.