Speech on Belonging

Speech on Belonging

  • Submitted By: Amy17
  • Date Submitted: 06/30/2009 1:42 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 751
  • Page: 4
  • Views: 3514

Belonging may involve deliberate choices

How has your understanding of belonging been shaped by your prescribed text, the stimulus you have listened to and ONE text of your own choosing?

We are constantly “constructing, demolishing and redrawing boundaries in order to create new places of belonging”.

This statement from the autobiographical account by David Eldridge, A Hyphenated Life, captures much of the concept of belonging. The building reference in “constructing” and “demolishing” refers to the cycle in which we continuously make intentional decisions to shape our belonging.

I understand belonging as a complex notion connecting an individual to a group of people, often for personal gain or sanctuary. Furthermore, deliberate choices to belong are both the consequence of experiences through one’s life and the barriers caused by conflict in morals. This is demonstrated via the prescribed text, The Crucible written by Arthur Miller and my related text, Rent. This production is a Christopher Columbous film adaptation of Jonathon Larson’s musical portraying a group of bohemians struggling to live and pay rent whilst enduring the obstacles of illness, drugs, AIDs and poverty.

An individual’s choice to belong is often shaped by their previous experiences. For instance, in The Crucible the young, orphaned and therefore isolated Abigail of Salem is manipulative of the other girls, seeking power that will enable her to belong. This is demonstrated via her threat to Mary Warren, " I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you…I saw Indians smash my dear parents’ heads…" The pronoun 'I' presents Abigail in a persuasive manner, forcing the girls to yield to her intimidation. Thus, Abigail’s deliberate choice to belong was spurred by her background.

Similarly, the narrator of A Hyphenated Life yearns to belong after growing up under Apartheid as a “young white boy” in a “closed inward-looking community”. The...

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