Essay on Lost in trans Peter Skryz

Submitted By nelsonh
Words: 1151
Pages: 5

An individual’s sense of belonging refers to the perception of acceptance in the world through interactions with others and the environment. When individuals interact with others and the world, it enriches their sense of belonging. However, neglecting interaction between unfamiliar people or environment will gradually limit an individual’s experience of belonging. This fundamental concept to determine positive and negative experiences of belonging is seen in Peter Skryznecki’s Immigrant Chronicle, a collection of poems displaying the belonging experience of a post World War II migrant, and Sofia Coppola’s ‘Lost in Translation’ (2003), a film that explores the notions of belonging and not belonging in an unfamiliar environment inhabited by seemingly unfamiliar people. These texts uncover the necessity for interaction within relationships between people and places of different personal and cultural contexts in order to establish a mutual acceptance between individuals and the world around them.

The understanding and acceptance in a relationship between individuals is dependent on the level of interaction that they engage with. Peter Skryznecki’s ‘Feliks Skryznecki’, one of the poems in Immigrant Chronicle, vividly portrays the limitations of the relationship between the persona and his father, Feliks. Skryznecki’s interaction with Feliks is constrained due to Peter’s lack of understanding in Felik’s Polish cultural heritage. Peter exclaims of Felik’s friends ‘shaking their hands too violently’ and through the enjambment of images of Polish life, portrays the ‘farms’, ‘paddocks, ‘horses’, and ‘pigs’ reminisced back in Poland. Peter highlights his disconnection with Feliks’ Polish heritage with his confusion of his father’s love for his garden is seen through the hyperbole ‘He swept his paths / Ten times around the world’. Unable to fully understand his father’s previous world in Poland, Peter’s questioning as to why his father maintains a stoicist attitude, describing him to be ‘Happy as I have never been’, further reflects the disconnection between Peter and his father. The poem concludes with Peter’s acknowledgement of their disconnection as he moves ‘further and further south of Hadrian’s Wall’. This metaphor is utilised to indicate Peter’s gradual development into English rather than Polish, limiting his interaction with his father, and thus limits Peter’s sense of belonging within his paternal relationship.

Similarly, Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation also reveals the necessity of interaction to gain acceptance and understanding within a relationship. Where Peter’s relationship with his father was limited due to the absence of shared experiences, Lost in Translation portrays the enrichment of belonging between Charlotte and Bob as through interaction, their seemingly ‘lost’ souls were able to discover a sense of connection. As both Charlotte and Bob have shared experiences in the disconnection with their families - Charlotte’s alienation is compounded when she discloses ‘John is using hair products.. I dont know who I married’. Congruently, Bob’s distance from family is emphasised by Bobs dejection highlighted by the close up shot of his wrinkled and frowned facial expression, revealing his dismissal of the fax machine that spits out tedious reminders of home. The parallels between Bob and Charlotte’s disconnection with family ironically enables them to connect with one another. The significance of their relationship is emphasised by the visual motif of asymmetrical imagery, used in the film’s cinematography. By framing Bob and Charlotte asymmetrically when they are alone, along with the presence of negative space, a sense of imbalance is created. This is juxtaposed with the asymmetrical motif being noticeably absent when the two characters are together, framing them proportionally, and thus displays their enrichment in belonging. Thus, in contrast with Skryznecki and his father, both Bob and Charlotte are able to