“Happiness can only exist in acceptance.”
George Orwell

Through the study of ‘The Simple Gift’ and ‘Mean Girls’, we are able to make connections between the two that similarly explore the concept of belonging, particularly through text, context, ideas and techniques. These two texts surround the idea of certain relationships which have the potential to encourage and destroy our natural self, and decide upon the accepted behaviours and attitudes within those relationships. Although this idea may seem critical and corrupt, it is an aspect of our personal world that occurs indefinitely, but is within our control.   Writers and composers explore these ideas to express their opinions or make satiric comments on society’s choices and consequences, and to raise questions and insight in hope to encourage change and affirm these opinions.

‘The Simple Gift’ is a novel by Steven Herrick that explores the idea of taking control of our identity, and acknowledging life’s simple pleasures. It is based in the town of Bendarat alongside the town’s rail tracks, where Billy, the main character, finds his first genuine home within an old train carriage. Techniques that successfully tell the story of Billy include writing styles, forms and structures, as well as symbolism and contrast. Herrick uses free-verse poems to tell the story of each three characters, to capture their thoughts, emotions, insecurities and ambitions, and to show various angles and opinions. With the use of these techniques, we as the responder are able to understand the vast differences between each character. A supplementing example where these techniques are used comprises when Billy first arrives at Bendarat, on the freight train. In the poem of ‘Bendarat’, Billy is aboard the night freight train after being welcomed by Ernie, the train driver. This initial welcoming creates a comforting relationship for Billy, which is in great contrast to his father’s relationship which is threatening and unsteady. Once...