Belonging and as You Like It

A sense of belonging can emerge from the connections made with people, places, groups. communities and the larger world. Belonging can also be prevented by choice or by barriers. Although place can provide a sense of familiarity and safety it is the community within the place and an understanding of the world around you that provides a sense of belonging.

In the film freedom writers, directed by Richard LaGravenese, several types of belonging and not belonging are conveyed. Belonging and not belonging are also conveyed in Shakespeare's As you like it.
The concept of belonging is conveyed in the film Freedom writers through relationships within people, people and the world and people in a society or group.

At the beginning the students belong to their ethnic groups, their gangs. This is established with the scene in the classroom where close up shots of tables being dragged to form close knit circles, the are self segregated within the class. Also narration from Eva such as "they are my family"   she tells us, shows she belongs to a gang. we believe her because she believes herself. the kids express there feelings on belonging to a gang, "atleast when you die for your own, you die with respect, you die a warrior"
We also learn that the students belong to the apparent dumb class, but only because they are 'dumb'. The teachers call them unteachable as they are a volatile mix of students.
Erin relates her students to the world of history and literature. Shakespeare's Montagues and capulets become modern day Latino and asian gangs, The victims of the holocaust persecuted for the same reason as the students themselves.
The students learn to belong because they weren't dismissed. Someone actually cared, took the time to find out why they skipped school and learn about life on the streets and poverty and violence. Someone listened to them and they felt like they belonged.
Erin Gruwell is the teacher of room 203. She clearly does no belong to the same social class...