Peter Skrzyneckis poems from his Immigrant Chronicle reflect a sense of belonging through many contexts such as family, school, and also belonging to Australia. A sense of belonging is also present in Gabor Csupos film, Bridge to Terabithia, which deals with a sense of alienation and rejection of two kids, Jess and Leslie, who are social outcasts at school and feel as if they dont fit in with their families.
Kevin Rudds Sorry speech also deals with aspects of belonging, because the Aboriginal people in Australia experienced mistreatment because of their race, and because of the assimilation policy, their children were taken away from them and sent to live with white families to assimilate into a white society, leaving their Aboriginal culture behind and becoming disconnected with their families. A similar sense of belonging is present in Peter Skrzyneckis poems Feliks Skrzynecki and 10 Mary Street in the context of families and loss of culture.
The Bridge to Terabithia explores the relationship formed between Jess and Leslie because of the understanding that they both have for each other due to them both being social outcasts at school, and feeling as though theyre ignored at home. Csupo uses the film technique of non-diegetic sound to create a sense of not belonging in the scene where we see Jess sitting by himself watching his sisters fight and his parents discussing their financial situation.
The non-diegetic sound is effective in showing belonging in this scene because we see Jess sitting by himself, away from everyone else, implying that he feels isolated within his family, and the non-diegetic sound of music adds to his sense of isolation because the song repeats why cant we be friends, suggesting that Jess wants to form a sense of belonging with his family instead of him feeling like an outcast. He wants to establish a relationship with his father in particular because he desires his attention and to make him proud of the things that Jess can accomplish, particularly with his extraordinary talent for drawing.
Feliks Skrzynecki and the Bridge to Terabithia link contextually because both Peter and Jess and Leslie feel as though they dont belong in their home. This is because of Peters disconnection from his cultural heritage due to his little knowledge about it and the distant relationship he has with his father, which is similar to Jess and Leslie. They feel as if they dont belong because Leslie is an only child and her parents are writers, so they dont have much time for her. Jess is the only boy in his family of five children, and he also has a distant relationship with his father.
Skrzyneckis poem Feliks Skrzynecki explores the relationship between the poet and his father and the contrast in each of their own sense of belonging; Feliks feels he belongs with his Polish friends and in his garden, whereas Peter feels he doesnt belong because of the disconnection he has with his cultural heritage. The use of first person throughout the poem makes the poem feel personal for the poet by using I and my, and shows the connection that exists between Feliks and Peter as father and son, this is evident in the first line of stanza 1, My gentle father.
This line shows Peters affection for his father and feels some sense of belonging, although later in the poem in stanza 7 the poet says he is pegging his tents Further and further south of Hadrians Wall, the reference to Hadrians Wall could symbolise the barrier that Peter faces with his Polish culture, and also the diminishing relationship that he has with his father as he grows older, therefore showing a sense of not belonging. A sense of belonging is created through the use of hyperbole to exaggerate the passion that Feliks has for hid garden.
The first use of this language technique is in the first stanza in the last two lines, He swept its paths/Ten times around the world. This suggests that Feliks spent a lot of time in his garden, and also suggests that it is a sanction for him where he feels safe and comfortable in his surroundings. Hyperbole is also used in the second stanza in the 6th line, Why his arms didnt fall off, this line implies that Feliks has put a lot of hard work into his garden.
This exaggeration could also symbolise the difference in the father and sons maturity because of the way that Peter perceives his fathers actions, because he sees that as something that he couldnt do. Feliks Skrzynecki and the Sorry speech link contextually because they both represent a sense of not belonging in the cultural context. This is shown in the poem Feliks Skrzynecki because Peter is disconnected from his cultural heritage, which is similar to the children of the Stolen Generation because they were taken from their families, therefore resulting in the disconnection from their Aboriginal heritage.
He uses repetition of phrases such as We apologise and We say sorry to show the sincerity of his speech, and also to show that the nation is sorry for the past mistreatment of Aboriginals which consequently alienated them from our society, this is supported by the line We the parliament of Australia respectfully request that this apology be received in the spirit in which it is offered as part of the healing of the nation. This line clearly suggests that the present Australian government is eager to move forward from past mistakes of others, and offer the Aboriginal community equal rights and equal opportunities that they deserve.
He also uses repetition of the phrase A future to show that he is determined to move on from the past in which Aboriginals were treated unfairly, he demonstrates that he wishes to move forward and reconcile as one nation, and for everyone to be treated as an equal regardless of their origin. This phrase is then supported by the line A future where all Australians, whatever their origins, are truly equal partners, with equal opportunities. The use of repetition creates a sense of belonging because the Aboriginal community is accepted into the Australian society, and they are all treated as an equal to everyone else.
Skrzyneckis poem 10 Mary Street and the Sorry speech link contextually because both texts deal with the issue of losing their cultural identity from the loss of their homes; Peter and his family lost their home because it was gazetted for industry, and Aboriginal children were taken away from their homes and their families, therefore losing their culture because they were expected to assimilate into white culture. Skrzyneckis poem 10 Mary Street explores the integration of Peter and his family into Australian society.
Throughout the poem it is clear that there is a strong connection developed between them and their house. In the second stanza the poet reflects on the familys routine in the afternoon of domestic chores and gardening. The poet uses the simile, Id ravage the backyard garden/Like a hungry bird to create a sense of belonging for Peter. This technique effectively shows belonging because it makes reference to a bird, which symbolises freedom, therefore suggesting that Peter has the freedom to do as he pleases in the garden without any disapproval.
In the fifth stanza the poet reflects on when he and his family became Australian citizens 10 years earlier. However, a sense of not belonging is created in the last 3 lines of stanza 5, Inheritors of a key/Thatll open no house/When this one is pulled down. These lines show that the family still doesnt feel accepted even though they are now citizens because when their house was pulled down, they felt that they lost their cultural identity, which they consider to have alienated them more from Australian society because they feel as though they have to assimilate into their culture and leave theirs behind.
All four texts represent the idea of belonging through the use of various language and film techniques. All composers have successfully conveyed themes such as belonging in the cultural, personal and historical context throughout their texts. Peter Skrzyneckis poem Feliks Skrzynecki relates to Kevin Rudds Sorry speech and Csupos film Bridge to Terabithia through the sense of not belonging due to the loss of connection with family that is shared between Peter, Jess and the children of the Stolen Generation.
Skrzyneckis poem 10 Mary Street relates to the film Bridge to Terabithia because of the security that Peters house brings his family and the security that Jess feels in his imaginary land of Terabithia. 10 Mary Street also links to Kevin Rudds Sorry speech because of the loss of cultural identity that the Aboriginal community and Peter and his family felt from the loss of their land.