"An individual's interaction with others and the world around them can enrich or limit their experience of belonging."

Discuss this view with detailed reference to your prescribed text and ONE other related text of your own choosing. 2010 HSC question BAND 6 response

Belonging is a multifarious construct which subsumes and circumscribes one's internal perception of self. It is this sense of belonging which is inherently defined via interaction with others, and this manifests as a symbiotically enriching and limiting experience. Dickinson's "This is my letter to the world" and "I gave myself to him" epitomise her paradoxical oscillation between yearning for social acceptance and enrichment and desire for dissociation from a society she deems limiting. Her repudiation of the strictures espoused in 19th century American society render her detached from the world around her and her interactions with others. Similarly, Conrad's Heart of Darkness, via the trajectory of Kurtz's descent into savagery examines the contradictory nature of identity as enriched and limiting.Thus all three texts explore the inherent symbiosis between an enriching and limiting experience of belonging and the ramifications of the paradoxical construct on one's perception of self, circumscribed by the relationship and interaction with others and the world.

"This is my letter" examines Dickinson's endeavours to at once arrest and safeguard her autonomous identity whilst assimilating into a society she associates with erroneous orthodoxies. Her withdrawal from society is paralleled with her desire for reciprocal understanding and credence within 19th century American society. Thus her experience of belonging is one of concurrent enrichment and limitations as she asserts her personal identity as a female writer in a patriarchal culture. The initial line "This is my letter to the world" serves as an accusatory proclamation addressing the literary populace with use of personal possessive...