The extract from Incoming Tide portrays how the detachment from external environment can lead to the weakening of one’s sense of self. Through the repetition of ‘you’, in the first paragraph portrays just how much Kevin had been dictated around by others. This is possibly because he does not possess a strong sense of self, originating from his lack of connections to the external environment. His seclusion from external environments can be seen in the second paragraph, where the writer uses cumulative listing to list all the places that Kevin had previously been. These places should have contained more colour and backstory, yet, Kevin mindlessly lists them, as if he heard of the experience, from another person’s viewpoint. Kevin seems to be distressed by his experiences with other cities, suggested by negative connotations such as unhappiness and tiresome. These words reflect the state of someone who is unable to find his sense of self; unhappy, unsure and depressed. Overall, being detached from external environments will shape you in a different way from others, which can be seen by the quote, ‘enjoys a variety of dull colours’. This oxymoron portrays the peculiar viewpoint of Kevin, possibly suggesting that these traits were due to his detachment with an external environment.
Skrzynecki’s poems, St Patrick’s College and Migrant Hostel also seem to emphasize how important external environments are, when it comes to finding a sense of self. St Patrick’s college had been a place where the persona could never attach himself to. This can seen by the use of mockery displayed towards the school, where the persona can be seen sticking needles into the school crest on his blazer, as well as stating that the school’s motto, Luceat Lux Vestra, sounded like a brand of soap. From this lack of attachment with the school, the consequences can be seen through the persona’s following experiences. His daily trip to the station felt unfamiliar every time, and the use of negative connotations, such as dull and repetitive,