The Simple Gift

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Understanding nourishes belonging… a lack of understanding prevents it. Demonstrate how your prescribed text and ONE other related text of your own choosing represent this interpretation of belonging. Belonging is primarily about acceptance and developing a connection and identity. Belonging implies an understanding of the needs of the individual and the group and negotiating a way towards acceptance of those needs. Conversely, exclusion emerges when the individual and the group fail to understand each other. Steven Herrick’s “The Simple Gift” is the story of three protagonists who develop friendships and ultimately change their perceptions of self. Comparatively, John Duigan’s “The Year My Voice Broke” explores how the relationships…show more content…
Herrick shows that a relationship has ‘centred’ Billy. His life has direction, routine and meaning. Billy’s identity at first was seen as a loner, he was isolated and a rebel. His mother was absent and his relationship with his father was intimidating. The lack of connection to family extends to Old Bill, whose daughter and wife died, and to Freya and Danny, who do not have the guidance of responsible adults. Herrick symbolises his disconnection and loneliness in ‘I didn’t go inside for hours./I looked through the back window/watching him/reading the paper/in front of the television/as if nothing happened’. Billy’s sense of belonging allows him to reforms his identity. Herrick shows this by juxtaposing Billy eating like a hobo in the first person narration in ‘And wait for the family of five to leave. / I can see dessert/ waiting for me’ and later eating like a refined mature adult via the descriptive language in ‘with a white tablecloth/and napkins/ and proper cutlery and plates.’ Comparatively, Freya grows up after Danny helps her deal with her miscarriage. This highlights that a person’s identity is defined by their connection to others. Both composers show an understanding of each other, allow them to nourish one another. Belonging is as a complex process by which people develop links with others, places and things. It is focused on acceptance and developing a connection and identity
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