Belonging: Perception and Mary Street Essay

Submitted By carlybaker
Words: 1163
Pages: 5

Belonging Essay
Connections to the world one inhabits can be changed overtime depending on their ability to accept present circumstances. This is shown through the prescribed texts ’10 Mary street’ and ‘St Patricks college’ by Peter Skrzynecki’s showing that despite his attempts to belong, he struggles and cannot come to terms with it shown through the use of similes, metaphors and negative imagery and in the related text ‘Letters from Thailand’ by Michael Hyde through the use of rhetorical questions, short sentences and positive images, his perceptions are shown to have changed creating an environment allowing him to belong.
In 10 Mary Street, peter feels a separation from society. “Over that still too narrow bridge” shows how his family are disconnected from the community they live in. By using the phrase ‘too narrow’ Peter is suggesting that there is not enough room for one ‘car’ or culture, therefore implying this as a metaphor that they do not fit in with society, they are strongly separated. This perception Peter has shows that he cannot open his mind to what may be happening. He believes he does not connect with the location which therefore shows that he is not connecting to the world around him.
Similarly, in letters from Thailand, the persona finds himself alone and helpless in this new city he is located in. He uses rhetorical questions such as “was it only two days ago that I said goodbye? Was it a few months ago I walked up Connelly street every day to catch my bus to school?” these questions show that he is strongly missing the routine in which he committed to in the past. It brings about an uneasy feeling from the reader, through the questioning of reminisce. The fact that he is bringing up past regularities shows that the persona is deeply feeling immediate disconnection to the place. Despite the fact that he just arrived, he feels unwelcome which demonstrates his inability to accept the new surroundings presented to him, hence unable to connect with the new world.
In St Pat’s college, Peter feels a cloud of discomfort from society (the school he attends). “our lady stood with outstretched hands” shows that the school is accepting of anyone but then this phrase is undermined with “her face covered by the clouds” which shows that he cannot personally connect with the ‘leader’ of the school emphasising the fact that he already does not accept himself into the society because of the discomfort in which he feels from the environment. Hence he cannot change his connection to the world because he cannot accept the present circumstances.
Likewise, in Letters from Thailand, the persona continues to express his feelings of not belonging through short sentences. “I’m told this is just part of the town. I just ignore it. The police certainly seem to.” These short sentences display his uncertainty of the place. He cannot come to terms with the environment he is in. “I’m told” shows that he personally has no experience with the town and “just ignore it” shows his uneasiness towards the situation because he is unsure of the future of this town. Since of his uncertainty, his acceptance towards this place has prevailed leading to an inability to change his perception, hence feeling alienated from the world.
Due to the sense that peter feels he does not fit in, in the community around him, he hints to the reader of the poem that he SHOULD belong in the places he describes. It is his perception which lacks the confidence of a connection. In 10 Mary Street, peter explains “naturalised more than a decade ago/we became citizens of the soil that was feeding us.” This personification of a mother of their family (being the country) he was able to show the reader that he should belong in this place. Him and his family all are a part of the country. They legally are admitted to live there as much as anyone else who shows a sense of connection. However this sense of togetherness is undermined by “inheritors of a key, that’ll