Belonging Essay

Submitted By justinwongnokhim
Words: 870
Pages: 4

Belonging is an ambiguous concept which can offer individuals a sense of identity and security. Experiences of belonging are closely related to a person's interaction with others, as positive experiences can enrich their sense of belonging, and negative experiences can limit their sense of belonging; this notion is extensively explored within Peter Skrzynecki's poems 'St Patrick's College' as well as the first episode in British television drama 'Skins' directed by Bryan Elsley, as both texts illustrate the protagonist's limited experience of belonging through their interaction with others leading to their acts of defiance. Conversely, Peter Skrzynecki's poem '10 Mary Street' discusses the notion that it is through the positive interaction with others that can enrich sense of belonging. Lack of understanding and negative interactions with others lead to a limited sense of belonging is explored in 'St Patrick's College', a poem in which the persona recalls his lonely schooldays by employing a sluggish tone to demonstrate his segregation from the school community. Varying views of the school from the persona and his mother are shown; this is evident through the different symbolisms used which help to underline their enhanced and limited experiences of belonging. The image of the persona's mother "Said a prayer for my future intentions" demonstrates her reverence towards the school's formalities and her enriched sense of belonging to the school's religious roots. On the other hand, the limited sense of belonging is expressed through the imagery when the persona “stuck pine needles, into the motto” this juxtaposed with the actions of his mother, the use of pine needles is to symbolise the disrespect and lack of understanding the persona has towards his school. This idea is extended in the next line "On my breast, Lucent Lux Verstra, I thought was a brand of soap", Lucent Lux Verstra means 'let your light shine', the persona's misreading of the school motto exemplifies his lack of interest and limited sense of belonging to the group. The school’s principle of let your light shine contrasts the persona’s description of a school life of "darkness" in the last stanza, it further demonstrates the lack of understanding and negative interaction contribute to his limited experience of belonging to the school. This idea is supported in the first episode of the TV drama ‘Skins’ from season five. The drama also shares the same context of school with ‘St Patrick’s College’. It expounds the experience of Franky, the protagonist when moving into a new town and school. In the scene when Franky is trying to get to school. She feels alienated and excluded; partially because her unconfidence but also her sexuality, this is shown by her costume of a big black coat and pants which is unusual for a normal teenage girl; the offbeat and inharmonious music in the background highlights Franky’s foreignness and her inability to interact with others. The high angle shot of her walking in the street allows audience to contrast her with other people who belonged to the town, as other people are mostly walking in groups and pairs, apart from Franky herself who is depicted as the ‘black sheep’. The extreme close up shot afterwards provides a clear view of the map hand drew on her hands; map is a symbol of not belonging which represents Franky’s insecurity, lack of understanding and unfamiliarity to the place. At last she is…