Understanding Is the Key to Belonging

Belonging is the notion of acceptance among a certain group, which shares a common identity or interest. The key to creating this sense of belonging is through the understanding of another’s interests, ideas, values and morals. Without this common understanding belonging seizes to exist and a sense of alienation, ostracism and not belonging is felt. The poems “Post Card”, “Migrant Hostel” and “Ancestors” from “The Immigrant Chronicles” by Peter Skrzynecki, the film “Remember the Titans” directed by Jerry Bruckheimer and the novel “Just Another Kid “ by Torey Hayden convey this idea about belonging through the character relationships they display.
The poems by Peter Skrzynecki were written based on his life after his family migrated to Australia during WWII and detail the struggles of trying to belong in Australia. The idea of understanding creating belonging through character relationships can be seen very clearly within the poems “Post Card” and “Ancestors”. In both these poems the generation gap between the two participants in the relationships serves as a barrier to belonging. The character relationships developed between Peter and his mother and father in “Post Card” represent the negative aspect about this idea of belonging. This relationship creates a sense of alienation for Peter due to the generation gap which exists. Both Peter’s mother and father are very familiar with the scenes of “Red buses on a bridge” and “High-rise flats” and this creates a strong sense of belonging for them. Peter feels his sense of alienation through the frustration he feels from not being able to familiarise himself with the images on the post card. This alienation caused by the generation gap between Peter and his mother and father conveys the idea that without an understanding, belonging cannot occur.
The idea that understanding is the key to belonging is represented through the relationship between Peter and his ancestors in the poem “Ancestors”. This relationship also...