Swallow the Air

Explain the message the messages about belonging in Swallow the Air
The novel Swallow the Air by Tare June Winch highlights the message of belonging. This novel revolves around the protagonist, May Gibson, whose mother commits suicide and a Aunty an alcoholic and gambler. She then went on her journey to find her sense of belonging again after she loses her attachment with Billy, her brother. The message of belonging can be seen through experiences that help gives us understanding which leads to the sense of belonging, and the sense of belonging can be related to one’s cultural identity.
Experience of isolation is crucial to understanding the concept of belonging. May’s disconnection to her racial background is evident in the repetition of “I stopped being Aboriginal. I stopped feeling like I belonged” which emphasizes her loss of personal identity. However her sense of belonging is strengthened through her newfound relationship with Johnny who is “her brother, always”. May had a conversation with Percy, his cousin about her mum’s family. Through this experience, May discovered that the sense of belonging is not just about family ties or mutual feelings; it is sharing a connection with others. The pain of May’s family is symbolically represented through her “tears that are not her own” highlighting the weakness of their relationships. Therefore from the past experience of May, she was able to understand the sense of belonging she was looking for.
This brings us to the second idea,
Connection with other leads to the sense of belonging. May uncovers that the sense of belonging for her is sharing a bond with her family, even if it is an unhappy one. May said ‘I couldn’t run away from the pain and I couldn’t run away from my family’, Winch repeated ‘I couldn’t’ to imply that no matter how May get away from her family, it will always stick with her. This suggest that May accepts her broken family as part of her and being Aboriginal. It is the shared history with...