Essay Perceptions on Belonging

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Perceptions of Belonging in our society

“We belong … like fish in water. We’re in our environment.” This quote from the New York Times shows the perception of belonging as the idea about connecting to a place, person, group or a community. 'Feliks Skrzynecki' by Peter Skrzynecki, 'I'm nobody! Who are you?' by Emily Dickinson and 'The Rabbits' by John Marsden & Shaun Tan show the concept of belonging as being contrasted towards the New York Times quote, showing the alienation and non-existent connection towards it. These texts have furthered my understanding on the perceptions of belonging by recognising the different concepts of connection to people, places and things.

The text “Feliks Skrzynecki” by Peter Skrzynecki
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Who are you?” by Emily Dickinson shows the connection towards the society, the people and herself. In the poem, the poet portrays herself as a “Nobody” and playfully asks the responder “Who are you?”. Dickinson follows up by adding “Are you nobody too?/Then there is a pair of us!” this helps Dickinson unite with the responder adding the sense of belonging to one another. In the last stanza, the poet shows how oppressive the “somebodies” crowd can be “Don't tell!/They'd advertise - you know?” This also shows the connection that Dickinson has with being a nobody, and the ability to stand out from the crowd. “How dreary to be somebody!” shows how the poet loves to be a nobody, and feels like she belongs. Dickinson frequently uses rhythmic dashes to interrupt the flow, and engage the responder to pause to think and feel about the line. The poet also uses juxtaposition in the line “How public—like a Frog—” These combining elements are not typically considered together, and, thus, more powerfully conveying its meaning. The poem shows that Dickinson is quite content with not connecting with the “somebodies” and that the poet enjoys being an outsider to the rest of the world and feels like she belongs to her own little place.

In the picture book, 'The rabbits' by John Marsden & Shaun Tan it shows the perspective of belonging as connecting to the indigenous Aboriginal land, people and culture. The allegory of the rabbits being
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