Belonging Essya Essay

Submitted By chocolatebape
Words: 930
Pages: 4

Individuals encounter barriers such as their background and culture during the process of being accepted, thus affecting their establishment of a place in a group or society. Allan Baillie‘s novel “China Coin” conveys the idea of belonging from rejection and alienation to acceptance while Peter skrynecki’s poem “Filks skrynecki” and “St.Patrick College” present notions of conformity and assimilation. Similarly, Oodgeroo Noonuccall’s poem “We are going” focus on how cultural difference can affect the individuals from finding their own sense of belonging which interrelate with “China coin” and “Filks skrynecki”.

Allan Baillie tells the story from Leah’s perspective so that we can identify her in a more detailed way and understand the barriers she has to find the sense of belonging. “Leah thought: Here I am, about to be sold into slavery in the lost mountains of china” this is the first sentence of chapter 1 which uses internal monologue to show Leah’s alienation and negative impression of China. Leah thinks she is forced to travel and not belong to China. This is demonstrated through the use of word “slavery”. Slaves are people who have no choice to create their sense of belonging since they are forced to belong to someone. Leah always called her mother “Joan” instead of “mother” which reveals the distance of their mother-daughter relationship. However, Leah’s sense of belonging finally changes from rejection and alienation to acceptance through a whole train of events. “Or perhaps she was changing, somehow. This time she really wanted to be part of the family”. Through the use of the third person narrator, the audience can clearly see Leah’s strong desire to belong to her Chinese family and Chinese culture. Leah told Li’Nan that she gets used to the ducks and pigs which also imply that she accepts the Chinese culture. “Li-Nan firmly pushed Tong aside and placed her hand on Leah’s forearm. ‘you are in this house. You are part of our family now. Welcome.’” At this stage Li-Nan is not sure Leah and Joan were her family but she accepts them since she thinks that they belong to Zhu family. So she welcomes them even Leah looks a little bit different from a Chinese. Placing her hand on Leah’s forearm symbolizes the sense of belonging between Leah and her Chinese family.

The poem, ‘Feliks Skrzynecki’, illustrates how society’s demands for conformity can cause barriers of withdrawal rather than a sense of belonging. Feliks’ major obstacle to belonging is his hesitancy to assimilate to a new country by sacrificing his previous life, a common conflict faced by many immigrants that Skryznecki captures in “Immigrant Chronicles”. Felix’s strong attachment to his origins is demonstrated by the tender tone used to describe his homeland in “ farms where paddocks flowered with corn and wheat”. The repetition of this tender tone and the use of further natural imagery show Feliks' attempts to create a familiarity within his new place. Australia’s refusal to accept his culture creates a further barrier as highlighted through the scornful question “had Felix ever attempted to learn English?” This rejects Felik’s attempts to assimilate as shown by alliteration “sunrise to sleep”, which emphasizes his devotion to his garden and his determination to replicate this imagery and so create a place where he has the ability to feel a sense of belonging.
Skrzynecki’s “St Patrick’s college” demonstrates younger peter’s struggle to construct a distinctive identity despite Australian society’s refusal to accept the migrants. The ironic imagery “Our Lady watched with outstretched arms, her face overshadowed by clouds” emphasizes peter’s sense of alienation and the corresponding uncertainty of the immigrant student being unable to settle and create new