2012 HSC belonging question: An individual’s perceptions of belonging evolve in response to the passage of time and interaction with their world.
As individuals grow and mature with the passage of time, their life experiences and interaction with people, places and groups develops their perception of belonging and not belonging. This interpretation of belonging is explored in the poetry of Peter Skrzynecki particularly in ‘Feliks Skrzynecki’ and ‘postcard’ as well as Shaun Tan’s 2006 graphic novel ‘The arrival’ as each composer demonstrate the idea that an individual’s perception of belonging evolve in response to the passage of time and interaction with their world.
When an individual migrates from one place to another, their life experiences through the passage of time and sense of attachment in which the individual feels to their homeland can hinder the individual successfully developing a sense of belonging within their new chosen place. In ‘Feliks Skrzynecki’ the poet Skrzynecki reveals his close relationship with his father “my gentle father” initially the possessive pronoun depicts their close rapport, but as their cultural ties weaken they become distanced from one another. Through the passage of time of the family’s migration process within Australia the poet through his maturation, has started embracing the Australian culture, due to his growing alienation in which he feels to his father’s polish heritage. This is revealed when the poet metaphorically pegs his tents “Further and further south of Hadrian’s Wall” away from his father traditional polish roots. The simile and oxymoron “Like a dumb prophet” reveals how both Feliks and the poet are powerless to prevent this inevitable separation and distance mounting.
Feliks being a first generation migrant, his deep connection to Poland through his life experience thwarts him in slowly developing a sense of belonging within Australia, through his interaction. Feliks is determined to preserve the...