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The Concept of Belonging in Poetry

            Belonging is the term used to describe an individual's actions, often resulting in a sense of security, inclusivity, acceptance and conformity. In most instances, a certain place can help enhance these sensations, often playing an important part in contributing to a sense of belonging. In Peter Skrznecki's poem, "10 Mary Street," the persona describes his disconnection with his family and home life. Similarly, in "St Patrick's College," the persona speaks of his personal disconnection with his school life, as he felt disengaged with the area, as well as his classmates. Parallel themes of a lack of belonging are presented in John Marsden and Shaun Tan's book "The Rabbits," in which he metaphorically describes the British's colonisation of Australia using animals. The texts convey the significance of belonging through various visual and literal techniques.
             In "10 Mary Street," the persona describes his lack of belonging with his home and it's surroundings, as well as his family in Regents Park. He recounts the house's surroundings in the first stanza, when he describes the nearby factory, 'as always burning down.' This memory was presented in an ominous tone rather than a nostalgic one, allowing the audience to witness his own personal disconnection, with the local area. The physical surroundings around a specific place usually present security and comfort, however the term 'always burning down' indicates that the persona did not share these ideas. Contrastingly, it indicates to the audience that he did not feel safe in the area nor did he feel the comforts, which a shared connection to a specific place would normally detail. Although he describes his own personal disconnection with the home, he speaks of his father, and his love for the family garden. These contrasting principles clearly indicate to the audience that he did not share the same feelings about the house with his father, leading to them experiencing a strained relationship with and thus feelings of not belonging had occurred.

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