Belonging Represented Essay

Submitted By Sky-Stenton
Words: 937
Pages: 4

An individual’s self-perception is highly influenced by relationships, morals, society and experiences. It is the way in which we interpret and respond to these factors that a sense of belonging/not belonging is created. This notion has been characterized through a variety of mediums such as literary devices and film techniques in the prescribed texts “Reunion” and “Big World”, a selection of short stories from Tim Winton’s 2004 anthology “The Turning”; along with Tim Burton’s 1990 film “Edward Scissorhands”. Each text represents the fragile nature of belonging to peers and the significance this has on the overall concept of belonging. “Edward Scissorhands” questions whether or not belonging to society instead of yourself is detrimental to one’s personal identity. Burton uses a variety of techniques to demonstrate this such as caricature, setting, body language and colour. In the beginning of the film, the low placement of the numerous bright pastel houses of the townspeople creates vectors that lead to a dark, gothic mansion positioned high up in the centre of the frame. Dark skies complement that house to create a caliginous mood. This divergent use of colour and placement positions the viewer to perceive the manor as a reclusive presence, suggesting that there is something that differentiates Edward from society.
Clothing and its relation to the contravening effect society has on Edward’s identity is continuously portrayed throughout the film. When Peg Boggs takes Edward into her home, she hands him clothing that is commonly worn by the residents of the town, but it is starkly different to the completely black attire that Edward dresses in. As he tries to fit into the outfit, to do so is evident on is facial expression and Peg comes back to help him. This suggests that it is difficult for an outsider to easily adapt into a foreign culture without assistance. As Joyce – the towns aging seductress – spreads false rumours about Edward around town, his reputation changes into one of distrust and unsafety. His new clothing begins to deteriorate and fray which is a metaphoric symbol of his downfall. As the town congregates against him, he slices the remaining clothing apart, revealing his original self. This is exemplified as a notion of escaping a materialistic society, cutting free from the expectations of a place that does wish for you to truly belong. Similarly, “Big World” demonstrates the ways in which an individual can alter themselves in order to associate to a group and how accepting this false sense of purpose can lead to unintended repercussions. Winton has presented this through a first person narrative of an unnamed protagonist. After completing high school, the narrator and his best friend Biggie leave town in an impulsively bought Volkswagen, aiming to escape the repressing fate that residing in the town would have resulted in. This illustrates feelings of resentment towards Angelus; a town in which they did not find a place belong.
“The way he’s enjoying being brighter than her…. It’s me all over. It’s how I am with him and it’s not pretty.” When the narrator and Biggie meet a girl along their expedition, he compares the newfound relationship to a third view perspective of his own connection with Biggie and recognises it as an unhealthy, one sided association. He begins to fathom the harmful influence Biggie has over him. “The Kombi fills with smoke again but this time it’s bitter and metallic” The smoke that was previously present in that van changes into one of an acrimonious nature is a figurative metaphor for change. The connotation of “The January of our new lives” relates back to this theme, and signifies the delicate essence of relationships based only upon fitting into society. The structure of the narrative is