English Standard Belonging

Topics: Alcohol abuse, The Streets, Simple Gifts Pages: 7 (2793 words) Published: August 2, 2010
There is a clear distinction between the appearance of belonging and the reality of an internal struggle. This links to the simple gift as the appearance of old bills belonging is to the category of homelessness and hoboness, as opposed to the reality of his internal struggle of losing loved ones. He loses the purpose for living and loses motivation to pick himself up and make something of the rest of his life. This is a story which remains untold with the simple assumption that he is nothing more than a poor unfortunate and grumpy hobo. The appearance of Billy’s rebellion as opposed to the reality of his internal struggle of searching for unconditional love and an environment where the person he wants to be can be fully expressed without criticism or restriction. The appearance of Caitlin’s belonging to the rich and privileged of teens, creating the assumption of the freedom she would have as a result of her family’s wealth and her attendance to a prestigious school. This is opposed to the reality of her internal struggle for freedom and independence, to be able to love unconditionally without scrutiny and disapproval of her parents, to experience a family bond which is not bound by wealth but through pure love and concern for the well being of one another. This idea is also linked to “open hearts for the youngest on the streets” by Erik Jensen where the appearance of belonging is categorized as just another of the 100000 homeless, whereas the reality is the internal struggle to start a new life that rejects aspects of ‘torment, abuse, neglect…’. All these ideas can be linked to “an individual’s identity can become fragmented by choosing to belong to a different community”. This quote becomes true in the case of both Billy and the youth on the streets as they become homeless in the slightest chances of gaining a sense of belonging, in order to reject alienation. In Steven Herrick’s free verse novel, the poem entitled lunch states ‘I’m poor homeless, but I’m not stupid’. We see how his identity has been fragmented and recognized, this recognition of his new identity shows the enjoyment and acceptance that he has in this new community. Even though he is poor and homeless he feels a greater sense of belonging in the freedom of a new community rather than his life at home where he experienced isolation, ‘gave me one hard back hander’. A sense of belonging through connections to places serves to provide a sense of collective identity and sense of cohesion and cultural community. Example of this is the carriage ‘hotel Bendarat’. This becomes the catalyst for the Billy’s personal search for belonging, as he meets old bill who presents him with ‘the simple gift’. Also in the article from Erik Jensen, Paul moulds gives the youth on the streets “…that unconditional love that you just want from a parent”. This cohesion between the youth and Paul gives them a sense of belonging and also achievement for Paul. Billy plays the role of both the homeless youth and the homeless worker as he searches to find a sense of cohesion, whilst helping old bill back on his feet to find a meaning in life. The story being told as a free verse novel suits the kind of the story being told as it is very much a story of the thoughts and perspectives of individual characters being fused into a story of self-discovery and change. The verse structure acts as each character’s own internal monologue, therefore serves as the characters own reflection as well as a means of characterization from the point of view of the audience. What is said by the character is what is in their minds and is not said to other characters; therefore they are given an authentic voice. Themes

(1) Adopting a distinctive voice or voices
‘Too rich’ Caitlin
In the passage of text, Caitlin talks of her family’s affluence and the fact that belonging to the higher status of Bendarat grammar school rather than Bendarat high school like her other friends creates a feeling of...
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