“Belonging is always problematic”
I think this statement is true, as belonging is naturally a complex process that also has a dynamic tension between longing and belonging. The impact of this paradoxical nature can be evaluated through the individual’s choice to belong or not to belong in the face of what is necessary or expected to belong. This is seen in the texts that I have studied Emily Dickenson’s existential poems and Richard Attenborough’s film Gandhi.
Looking first at Emily Dickinson context-we see her as a self imposed recluse, from an exclusive conservative wealthy class who composes from a vantage point of seclusion. So in her poem 66, the use of a metaphorical letter acts as an automatic distancing device representative of the persona’s detachment and rejection by the world. It may be natural for some people to isolate themselves from the world and to serve or study humanity but then long more with intimately connect to the world. Thus attempting to connect to the world in a symbolic puritian nature and abstractedly through the natural bond they share, her place of belonging by employing dominate tones of exclusion and injustice when addressing the word that ironically the world “never wrote to me” . Powerful sensory imagery in the metaphor of hands in the lines “To hands I cannot see…Judge tenderly of me” represents connection and comfort. However this conflict implies the persona suffering from a tension that arises from her basic human instincts to be part of her own kind, and to feel accepted by them but the persona’s wider society threatens to make her feel alienated and vulnerable.   The cost of belonging is depicted when she sacrifices her companionship the freedom of individuality. On the other hand, to not belong to art would be a life of misery and dishonesty to oneself. Hence, it is problematic to belong to her own inner dimensions as an artistic individual within in the constraints of the wider world.
On a more abstract level,...