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Belonging Essay

  • Submitted by: ByronPoidevin
  • on February 26, 2014
  • Category: English
  • Length: 385 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "Belonging Essay" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

A sense of belonging is determined by perceptions of self. Straus sets the scene in the streets of Melbourne, where an unnamed black, Greek lady makes obvious to the reader the negative perception of herself with the opening line “impossibly black”. The high modal term outlines the negative social attitudes towards migrant cultures by Australians at the time, as the colour of her skin is unfamiliar leading to her rejection within society. This state of being “impossibly black” juxtaposes with the sexualised nature of the “impudence of summer thighs/long arms and painted toe nails”. The use of a synecdoche creates emphasis on the two contrasting cultures, the traditional and the superficial. It therefore leads to the woman’s sense of belonging being challenged, whether she should give-in to the normality and conformity of society, or uphold her tradition. Held between two decisions, she becomes isolated from society, unable to condemn herself to a superficial society. The woman is dehumanised through the use of animal imagery, where she is “hunched sweltering”, where allusions made to Greek mythology compare migrants to that of mythological beasts, unknown, ugly, and who live in the shadows of society. The uneasiness of the migrant woman is reflected through the use of imagery, where she is “sweltering”, alluding to the psychological pressures of Australia’s monocultural society. Through uncertainty of self, and being unable to produce a sense of personal belonging, the migrant woman becomes isolated from society.
Familiarity to place is fundamental to a sense of connection to place, where foreign environments propose massive barriers to belonging. A sense of disconnection with the Australian society is established through lack of communication, “where voices not understood echo”. Language barriers are portrayed through the use of a connotation where voices “echo”, having the effect of distancing the migrant woman from society as well as creating a tone of...

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