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    How Perceptions of Belonging or Not Belonging Are Influenced by Connections to Places

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    Explore how perceptions of belonging and not belonging can be influenced by connections to places. Belonging refers to the acceptance of a common culture and traditions and the adoption of these practices into ones own personality. A common view of belonging is that it becomes manifested due to connections to a place, and a homogeneous, undifferentiated culture. This belonging is thus felt because of assimilation and espousal of a common language, culture and way of life.

    This view is expressed in the poem ‘Migrant Hostel’ by Peter Crooknecks, in which the importance of connections to place are highlighted as the way through which to direct their sense of belonging. However, in the poem ‘SST Patriot’s College’, the idea of belonging becoming manifested due to connection to a place is Juxtaposed to the affiliated of belonging to a common ideology and conviction. Correspondingly, the poem ’10 Mary Street’ explores belonging and suggests that through connections to a harmonious place, a true sense of belonging can become manifest.

    In the poem ‘Migrant Hostel’, the concept of belonging correlating to a connection to a place is explored. The poem is set in a Displaced Person’s camp post World War II, in which many different cultures are present, yet each individual seeks out their own unique culture due to a sense of comfort. In the poem, the different migrant groups are referred to as being “like homing pigeons”. This use of this reductive simile suggests that each individual desires a sense of comfort, which is only available through the directing of thoughts towards an appropriate country.

    This idea is further enhanced through the way these “pigeons” became “birds of passage”. This metaphor highlights how the instinct of the migrant groups have become so corrupt and disorientated that they have become confused and lost. However, the metaphor also suggests that these migrant groups need only to direct their thoughts towards an appropriate country, where the unique characteristics and culture can flourish due to a sense of belonging. Thus, it can be seen through the poem ‘Migrant Hostel’ that connections to a place coupled with connections to a homogeneous group can allow for the manifestation of belonging.

    Contrastingly, the poem ‘SST Patriot’s College’ explores the concept of belonging, and suggests that belonging to a place is impossible without the full comprehension of a common ideology. In the poem, Peter struggles to connect with his school SST Patrick College due to the differences in ideology, and thus feels separate, showing how belonging to a place is not important without an understanding of an ideology. In the poem, through Pewter’s “uniform”, Peter is given an identity, as a uniform is a symbol of conformity, and indicates how he belongs physically to the school.

    However, later in the poem, Peter notices how the face of the Christian figure of Mary has been “overshadowed by clouds” after previously having “outstretched arms”. This shows how Mary, who was a fugue of inclusion and an individual who encouraged belonging has had her perception changed and distorted in reference to Peter. Furthermore, in the final stanza, Peter refers to the “darkness around me”. This metaphor and ironic pun of the school’s motto highlight how there was no engagement with the school’s positivist and its ideology.

    Thus, it can be seen how belonging towards a place, even though important, is meaningless without an acceptance of a homogeneous belief and can cause incongruity in an individual. In opposition of this, the poem ’10 Mary Street’ explores the concept of a deep connection to a place as the only viable way in which to achieve a true sense of belonging. In the poem, the Crooknecks family experiences every day life in 10 Mary Street, as a result of having a secure place of residence, feel a deep connection to the country. This is evident through the way the family “shut the house like a well oiled lock”.

    This simile of transition shows the unknowing assimilation of the family due to their deep connections to the house. Furthermore, this belonging is show through the way the family became “naturalized more than a decade ago’, which further emphasizes how the Jerkiness’s have become more connected to the Australian culture, and have thus developed a sense of belonging. Furthermore, Peter acknowledges that he owns a “key that will open no house”, indicating how the mainly connection to 10 Mary Street has become embedded into their personality, and how the Australian culture has become dominant due to their deep connections to the country.

    Thus, it can be seen how a deep connection to a place can ultimately cause belonging, despite not necessarily belonging to the country’s ideology. In conclusion, belonging refers to the acceptance of a cultures tradition and way of life and the adoptions of these practices into ones own personality. In the poem ‘Migrant Hostel’, the concept of a connection to a place is explored as the way to achieve belonging due to its ability to provide a clear direction in life. However, the poem ‘SST Patriot’s College’ suggests that belonging to a place is irrelevant without a clear belonging and adoption of a new ideology.

    This is contrasted to in the poem ’10 Mary Street’ which indicates the importance of deep connections to a place as the only viable opportunity to achieve true belonging. Nevertheless, despite the influence of connections to places as the paradigm through which to achieve belonging, it is more important to identity oneself with a common ideology and belief system in order to achieve belonging as it can better allow for the expression of inner desires of individuality.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    How Perceptions of Belonging or Not Belonging Are Influenced by Connections to Places. (2018, Jan 15). Retrieved from

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