Perceptions of Belonging Are Both Varied and Complex

Perceptions of belonging are both varied and complex
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Fundamental to perceptions of belonging is the recognition of its complex nature encompassing both belonging and its antithetical concept of isolation. This duality, manifested in the relationship between an individual and the people and environment they are exposed to is paramount in the development of one’s identity and therefore the definition of the institutions to which they may belong. The concept of belonging where an individual attempts to conform to a society where their own needs and desires are put aside as opposed to adjusting their own character to meet societal expectations. Through the contrasting notions and concepts of belonging, this multi-faceted notion is addressed through many varied perspectives reflected through relationship, cultural and societal significance to individuals in their respective societies. Peter Skrzynecki explores the same notion of belonging being both varied and complex in his two poems ‘Feliks Skrzynecki’ and ’10 Mary Street’, where Peter describes his complications with assimilating to the Australian culture and dissimilating with his polish heritage.

Feliks Skrzynecki is a tribute to the dignity and stoicism in the face of loss and hardship to the poet’s father Feliks whose physical journey from Europe to Australia, from one culture to another, echoes through the poem and it’s clear that the impact of the journey is as strong for the son as for the father. This poem highlights that the hardest thing about physical migration is whether to keep or let go of the memories as migration allows the person to destabilise both physically and mentally. Feliks is perceived as a complex and enigmatic man from the subjective perspective of his son Peter. Feliks can never be Australian because his identity has been forged in the Polish culture. The use of hyperboles such as "spent years walking its perimeter" and...