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Acceptance And Understanding Breeds Belonging English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1151 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Acceptance and understanding are the building blocks of feeling any sense of belonging. Through acceptance, barriers to belonging can be broken down to shape our attitudes and perceptions upon others, allowing others to feel a sense of acceptance and belonging. Acceptance and understanding however can be rejected through an individual’s experience of alienation and rejected, thus killing any further growth of a sense belonging.

An individual upbringing creates a powerful formative influence over the creation of a sense of belonging. Billy’s past experiences of abuse have led him to assume that others will not accept him. Herrick explores the abusive nature of his father by employing metaphors and first person narration of Billy.

“Gave me one hard backhander across the face, so hard I fell down… and slammed the door on my sporting childhood”, highlighting the destructive relationship he has with his father, potentially creating barriers of any sense of belonging.

Billy’s experience however can be contrasted to Caitlin’s ironic emptiness in the midst of material wealth promoted by her father. Both characters are similar in the way that they don’t feel a sense of belonging in their community but their experiences of how this came about is significantly different, Thus resulting in different views and attitudes towards to people. Herrick explores this through when Billy Catlin meet for the first time at McDonalds, each having a different view upon another.

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The rules of society have a bearing on an individuals potential to belong, often resulting in a search of a physical sense of belonging. Billy’s sense of belonging to a community (Bendarat) at the beginning of the chapter is contrasting to his sense of belonging near the end. Herrick’s communicates the lack of acceptance within the community of Bendarat through the school kids labelling Billy as a social outcast. “As I near the town there’s more cars and school buses, yellow, full of kids shouting insults at me, the bum”. Despite this unwelcome experience, Billy soon finds a place of haven, a physical sense of belonging within the town. “Bendarat is a prefect town. A friendly librarian, a warm McDonalds, luxury train accommodation.” This physical sense of belonging is further explored through Billy’s sense of direction in life, his daily routine. “This morning I woke and I knew where I was going for the next few months-to the Library to McDonalds to the river and home here to the Hilton- a circuit of plans with Caitlin at the centre, and me a badly dressed satellite spinning crazily in her orbit” This highlights that positive experiences of acceptance can be catalysts for belonging.

Genuine Relationships anchor individuals in identity. The growing recognition between Billy and Old Bill, and Billy and Caitlin has a positive impact on each of them as it furthers their sense of worth and belonging to one another. Billy and Caitlin’s relationship can be best described as the ultimate sense of belonging by their centred and loving attitude to one another. This ultimate relationship is explored through Herrick’s imagery statement of Billy and Caitlin making love, the ultimate act of belonging. “It was like falling headlong into the clear waters of the Bendarat River and opening my eyes to the beautiful phosphorescent bubbles of light and trying to catch those bubbles in the new world of quiet and calm that carried me along, breathless”. Billy’s physical connection, his sense of belonging to the Bendarat river is used in statement to highlight how wonderful and comfortable he is with catlin, the act of making love reconveys this strong sense of belonging to one another.

In analysing the text, I have learnt that a sense of belonging can be derived from positive experiences of love and acceptance of others; it is from experiences of belonging that break down barriers and shape our attitudes and perceptions upon others, allowing others to feel a sense of acceptance and belonging.

Throughout the film Shrek, the composer has portrayed Shrek as a mean and unwelcoming ogre, but in reality this is what he has had to resolve to, due to the lack of acceptance in the community. In exploring this, the composer employs numerous textual features to communicate how the rules of society have bearing on an individual’s potential to belong. To higlight this, the composer employs a series of point of views shots which display a starry night sky to create a reflective mood as well as the charters dialogue to explore this.

“I don’t have a problem, it’s the world that’s seems to have a problem with me, they take one look at me and go arrrrrrrrr! Help! Run!, a big stupid ugly ogre” “They judge me before they even know me, that’s why I ‘am better off alone “

Highlighting Shrek’s need and want to belong but is not accepted within the community, thus creating a barrier to any sense of belonging. However this is contrasted with Shrek and donkeys relationship, despite Shrek’s physical appearances

In exploring their relationship, we can see how individual’s experiences anchor genuine relationships. Shrek a green ogre that always has enjoyed living in a peaceful solitude in his swamp (Panning shot of warning signs around his house highlights his escape from belonging), finds his life disturbed when numerous fairytale beings are forced into his swamp. In his search of finding a resolution to this problem, he meets up with Donkey. Initially the friendship is one-way, whereby Shrek is annoyed by Donkeys company, highlighted by Shrek’s imperative tone towards Donkey “STOP! Singing, it’s no wonder why you don’t have any friends”

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The composers explores the relationship throughout the film by employing a montage of scenes emphasising the growth in their friendship including funny scenes of Shrek and Donkey sharing stories and fart jokes with one another. This growth of friendship is further highlighted by the composer through the non diegetic sounds i.e. background music to the montage scene “I am on my way, to misery to happiness…”

From this I have learnt how initially attitudes towards people are change through experience and acceptance providing growth to friendship, thus breaking down barriers to feeling a sense belonging.

I analysing the texts The Simple Gift and the film Shrek, I have gain an understanding of how individual’s experiences can enrich or limit our sense of belonging.

Questions relating to Task:

In the introduction, do I have to introduce my texts? Or can I just jump start into it??


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