A basic human is need is that we must feel like we belong. This could be to belong to a group, family, race or nation. The verb ‘belonging’ means to be accepted into a place or environment, simply put, to just fit in. The antonym of belonging is not belonging or alienation. The means to be isolated, out cast, marginalised or ostracised from society.   Nelson Mandela’s inaugural speech and Dorothea Mackellar’s poem Our Country both explore the concept of belonging and not belonging. They explore this concept through the use of inclusive and exclusive language, persuasive language, emotive language and visual imagery. And these language techniques are used shape our understanding of belonging and not belonging.

Inclusive and exclusive language is used in both texts by the composers to explore the concept of belonging and not belonging. Nelson Mandela uses inclusive phrases such as ‘each one of us’, ‘spiritual and physical oneness and ‘rainbow nation’ to imply that everyone living in South Africa has ownership of the land and because they all share this connection they all belong to a single community. The term ‘rainbow nation’ is particularly significant because it expresses the physical nature of South Africa. The nation is split up into many racial sectors but through the use of Mandela’s inclusive phrases they all are united into a single people. Mackellar purposefully uses inclusive and exclusive language in her poem to distinguish those who love Australia and those who don’t. The pronouns ‘you’ and ‘us’ are used as tool to make this distinction. The inclusive nature of the word ‘us’ in the phrase ‘she pays us back three-fold’ creates an ‘in group’ of those who identify themselves as belonging or having a personal connection to Australia. The exclusive phrase ‘ All you who have not loved her/you will not understand’ is an inference that those who do not identify themselves as Australians will not understand her love for Australia.

Persuasive language is...