Belonging In Tony Birch's 'Refuge Of Sinners'

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A sense of belonging comes from a sense of identity and that is shaped by one’s personal, social, cultural and historical context. Belonging is also dependant on connections made with ones surrounding, which enhances or limits their sense of inclusion. Tony Birch’s “Refuge of Sinners” from his shortstory collection “The promise” and Peter Skrzynecki’s poem memoirs “St Patrick's College and Felkis Skrzynecki” consider an individual's surrounding to be important, as seen with the use of their language features and contextual background. An individual’s sense of belonging relies on those around him or her. “St Patricks College” follows of the life of Peter Skrzynecki as he attempts to find a sense of connection between his peers. Peter Skrzynecki’s…show more content…
This creates a barrier between the two which is influenced by the historical context of the 1950s immigration. The offsprings of migrants had a connection towards the adoptive world compared to the “homeland” of their parents, which caused an increase in the sense of disconnection within the family due to different values and ethics. The quote “Moved further and further south of Hadrians wall” highlights Peter losing his Polish culture as his father watched “like a dumb prophet”. This depicts Peter’s father as not trying to understand the new culture or teach his son the polish culture before it came to be too late. It is evident Peter Skrzynecki’s sense of belonging was dependent on his mother’s choice and father’s help which lead to a limited sense of…show more content…
The use of hyperbole one he “spent years walking its perimeter” conveys Feliks strong connection and sense of belonging with his environment as opposed to the external environment (society). This juxtaposes to his son Peter Skrzynecki who feels he does not belong in his father’s environment and instead creates a sense of connection to the external environment. “I had forgotten my first polish word” emphasises how segregated and different Peter is as opposed to his father. The use of symbolism illustrates that Peter is choosing to be with his own environment rather than his father’s by adapting to the adoptive countries culture. This reflects the theories of the 1950’s assimilation policy, where for one to be an Australian they had to forget their culture and replace it with Australian customs, beliefs and attitudes in order to live the Australian way of life. Although for older generations it was difficult to assimilate, It was simpler for the offspring’s of the migrants. Thus, it can argued that an individual’s sense of belonging is dependents on their physical or external environment which can limit or enhance their sense of connection.

Peter Skrzynecki uses a variety of language features and contextual background to provide an analysis
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