Question: “Although Belonging may demand compromise, it can also be nourishing”

Explain and discuss how this statement about belonging is represented in your prescribed text and in two related texts.

The statement, “Although belonging, may demand compromise it can also be nourishing” is reflected in the many concepts of belonging presented in As you like it and two related texts, Freedom in Exile and Empire of the Sun. Each of these texts present a situation in which characters experience a change from one aspect of belonging to another, whether this is geographic, cultural or class. This highlights the price one has to pay to belong and the rewards one is offered. Though all have different contexts and are set in different historical periods they all have universal themes related to belonging. They demonstrate and support the idea that though belonging may require compromise, it can also be nourishing.

The concept of belonging to a location or place is presented in all three texts. Changes in location or place also result in changes to class and culture. In each case this is contrasted against another location in which the characters voluntarily or forcefully come to dwell. They must adapt to their new surroundings, and leave behind family, friends, lifestyles and traditions. But in all cases despite these compromises are able to find nourishment in many areas of their lives. As you like it shows this concept through the contrasting environments of the court, which is presented, as a place of corruption and deceitfulness and the Forest of Arden, a place that is perceived to offer freedom and escape, idealising nature and rural life. The forest is introduced as an idyllic world free of the worries of city life. In Act 1 Scene 1, Charles shares his view of Arden with Oliver calling it
“the golden world”.  
Shakespeare refers to the classical allusion of the golden world linking this to the lifestyle the Duke and his company are living in Arden. This is a...