Belonging Skrzynecki and Goodfellas

Belonging Essay
Belonging is a multi faceted and complex subjective feeling. There are some individuals whom seek to belong, who feel they belong, who don’t like to belong, and who don’t seek belong. Belonging has a different effect or meaning to each individual which derives from that individual’s perceptions and beliefs. Peter Skrzynecki’s poetic novel “Immigrant Chronicle” and Martin Scorsese’s film “Goodfellas” are two texts that illustrate to their audiences what Skrzynecki and Scorsese respectively both believe what it means to belong.
Peter Skrzynecki a Polish poet, created his poetic novel “Immigrant Chronicle” to describe what he believes it means to belong and not belong. He wrote this piece in response to the influx of Vietnamese migrants in the 1970’s, to illustrate what it’s like not to belong and the feelings of the migrants, and to give a voice to the voiceless.   In particular, there are two poems in which Skrzynecki expresses optimally what he believes it means to belong or in contrast to not belong.
Skrzynecki’s poem Feliks Skrzynecki explores the concept of belonging, highlighting that man has the choice to include himself in a community, or to live in isolation. Through the cultural independence of his father, Skrzynecki underlines man’s choice in whether he belongs or not. The garden, “loved like an only child”, is a symbol for Poland, the homeland of Skrzynecki’s father. His powerful, almost familial affinity with his homeland underlines his choice to not accept Australian culture, but instead to seek solace in his own world. This attachment, as the audience is told that Skrzynecki‘s father has “swept its paths ten times around the world.” Such hyperbole emphasizes Feliks’ strong connection with his garden, it is the only place in his world in which he truly belongs. Feliks is juxtaposed with his son, who begins to lose touch with his father’s culture. Skrzynecki, while “stumbling over tenses in Caesar’s Gallic War…forgot his first Polish...