Immigrant Chronicle Essay

Submitted By brisingr969
Words: 715
Pages: 3

The shaping of an individual’s identity and attitude is enhanced through their relationship within an environment or community, and is ultimately determined by their cultural and personal participation. Peter Skrzynecki’s Immigrant Chronicles reflects on various concepts related to belonging through the composer’s interpretation of the special bleakness of immigrant families as they come to terms in a foreign country, through the repetitive use of dark tones and imagery. Another text that supports the motives evident within Immigrant Chronicle is the film, Her directed and produced by Spike Jonze, that expresses a lonely, introverted man troubled by love and fear of intimacy, highlighting his inabilities to connect, and the importance of companionship. These texts all introduce the polarised notion of association and isolation.
In Peter Skrzynecki’s Immigrant Chronicle, the text 10 Mary Street illustrates emotions experienced by the persona and his immigrant family, sharing a duality of both connection and disconnection, through the enduring process of integration into Australian society. Alluding to positive imagery, the persona conveys an inextricable connection with his family, as he identifies the personal pronoun, ‘we’, creating a sense of comfort and togetherness, identifying a strong link within his culture. Followed by the accumulation of positive images such as, ‘letters// gestures// herrings’ entwined with Polish food and leisure, and the exaggerated simile ‘smoked like/ A dozen Puffing Billies’, emotions of wealth and friendship are demonstrated, depicting a sense of affinity that the persona rarely experiences empathising for his family and Polish culture.
However, while 10 Mary Street establishes a sense of association it is undermined by the concept of disconnection, as Skrzynecki expresses the struggles he experiences within a foreign country in the poem, St Patricks College. Through college, Peter struggles to conform and participate in school, as he slowly disconnects from the school community as he finds it difficult to understand the privileges his peers and parents acknowledge. This apparent, through the repetition of ‘For eight years’, the persona sets a dark tone, suggesting he is counting his days at the school, disappointed and separated from his surrounding environment. Enjambment enhances his emotions as he responds, ‘on my breast: Luceat Lux Vestra/ I thought was a brand of soap’, influencing that he has no connection to the school, as the phrase is merely an unfamiliar male’s sense of alienation. The film, Her evokes similar concepts with the effective use of non-diegetic sound. With rich and deeply resonant music, the film enriches the notion of belonging by channelling exactly what the environments evoke, and how the persona is affected, allowing for an understanding of the maturing of a relationship and development of place. Affinity to an environment is a predominant notion expressed within the two texts.
Contrastingly, Feliks