Migrant Hostel, 10 Mary Street And Be My Brother Essay

1033 words - 5 pages

Belonging is by nature a process and measure of our connectivity and involvement with people and places. While these connections allow us to embrace others in order to avoid isolation and the harsh experiences of not feeling accepted, we must also acknowledge the urge human beings have to distinguish themselves as individuals. Peter Skrzynecki’s anthology of poems Immigrant Chronicle, in particular the poems, ‘Migrant Hostel’ and ’10 Mary Street’, highlight how changing circumstances and values can influence a migrant's search for assimilation and the confinement or liberation people or settings can bring to an individual. Also the short film, ‘Be My Brother’ by Genevieve Clay, winner of ...view middle of the document...

It can be understood that Skrzynecki develops a greater awareness of his new life “That had only begun or were dying”, the antithesis illustrating the commencement of new life but the sense of separation from Australian culture and society he will experience, that is beyond his control.

Similar to the persona’s experience in ‘Migrant Hostel’, the Down syndrome protagonist, Richard, in the short film Be My Brother has an innate desire to be understood, but is left exposed to a sense of disconnection and disassociation within a discriminatory world. The short film opens with Richard talking into a tape recorder which acts as a form of alternate communication, intensifying the ongoing adjustment to the lack of conversation he would normally experience with others. Richard’s desire to belong is limited by his prejudicial environment where the bus stop acts as a synecdoche for the wider distanced community. The childish nature of the non-diegetic sounds is indicative of the thought processes of Richard, working to reveal elements of his identity such as his humour and genuine nature. He later attempts to engage in conversation with Amanda, a woman sitting at the bus stop. Her awkward and dismissive body language towards Richard echoes the tendency of society to shy away from those with mental disabilities, making it more difficult to belong, due to the circumstance he faces.

‘10 Mary Street’ expresses the nature of connectivity and understanding as the persona reflects upon his childhood home through a series of anecdotes, affirming the importance of relationships to family and place. "We departed Each morning, shut the house Like a well-oiled lock" uses simile to demonstrate their strong connection towards their home, and “Tended roses and camellias Like adopted children” also uses simile to suggest permanence and a sense that the family have chosen to belong in their new environment on the basis of their cultural roots. The simile and the monosyllabic "shut" and "lock" create a sense of security, affirming their enhanced sense of belonging in Australian society. The...

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