Belonging: Homing Pigeon and Post Card Essay

Human nature can be a complex mixture of thoughts, feelings and actions. Being human we have a tendency to feel emotions, most which surround the defying need of inclusion. The need to be loved, the need of acknowledgement and even more essential the need to belong are all unavoidable connections involved in human nature. After studying the concepts of belonging the statement which is to be explored, ‘the need to belong marks us as human and it is such connections that lead to fulfilment,’ shows many forms of truth.

It is this truth, the necessity of belonging, that can be clearly displayed in almost every part of the human life and hence shown in several forms of texts such as; Peter Skryznecki’s poems from his book ‘Immigrant Chronicles’, Dave Pelzer’s painful autobiography ‘A Child Called IT’ and Torey Hayden’s novel ‘Ghost Girl’. Peter Skryznecki’s book Immigrant Chronicles contains the poems, ‘Migrant Hostel’, ‘Post Card’ and ‘In the Folk Museum. ’ Migrant Hostel uses the metaphor ‘nationalities sought each other out,’ ‘like a homing pigeon circling to get it bearings.

This simile notes how the captives at the migrant hostel felt a sense of belonging through their common qualities with others who shared their nationality and birth places. They felt guarded and secure in a group amongst others who were like them in some way. To compare the nationalities to homing pigeons is a well thought analogy as pigeons not only stick it groups but ‘homing’ pigeons are flocking to one certain place, one which people may refer to as a ‘home. ’ The same concept can be seen in Torey Hayden’s novel ‘Ghost Girl’ through the quote ‘It’s scary isn’t it being all alone? ‘ but you’re not there are many others just like you. ’ Following this quote, Jadie, a little elective mute girl, finally spoke as she felt safe knowing that she was not alone and that she wasn’t the only one experiencing the same difficulties that she was.

Both quotes and scenarios from these texts support the statement mentioned above. They both show how taking away loneliness and creating a group through common qualities create a sense of belonging which in turn leads to fulfilment, such as the elective mute girl finding the strength to talk. Post Card’ and ‘In the Folk Museum’, two poems from ‘Immigrant Chronicles’ focus more on the need to belong being interconnected to the past. ‘Post Card’ mentions Warsaw, a place which is a part of Peter Skryznecki’s parents past rather than his own. ‘Warsaw, Old Town, I never knew you’ is a line in the poem which is evidence to the feelings of disillusionment, Peter Skryznecki feeling this past is not his and therefore he does not belong to it. The line, ‘I repeat I never knew you’ is continuously used in repetition to strengthen this feeling even further.

The poem ‘In the Fold Museum’ ironically compliments ‘Post Card’ as it relates to Peter Skryznecki not feeling as if his past lies in the eyes of Australia, the place he was breed, and therefore what past he feels he belongs to is unknown. It is evident of his feelings towards the Australian heritage through the line ‘To remind me of a past that isn’t mine,’ as well as the line ‘would you please sign the visitor’s book’. The first quotation is straightforward mentioning plainly the Australian heritage is not his, although the second quotation uses a creative play of words.

There is literally a physical visitors book which he was asked to sign upon leaving the museum, although ironically the visitors book emphasis’s Skryznecki’s feelings towards the Australian heritage he feels he is only a ‘visitor’ in the culture and therefore does not entirely belong to it. Both these poems hold feelings of not belonging to a past culture, these feelings escalate and allow Skryznecki to feel a lost sense of belonging in his present.

It can be said that Skryznecki was searching for his past which he felt he belonged to, as he was looking into the folk museum at Australian past, and reading into the post card of the polish past. This search of belonging, which can come from a past, is a part of human nature, something which if missing, can create an escalade of confusion about where they belong in the present. Once again from the evidence of these texts the above general statement is supported as the need to belong is evident and the lack of belonging does not provide fulfilment in the present of one’s life.

A brilliant text which successfully supports the general statement is Dave Pelzer’s story, ‘A Child Called IT. ’ Dave is a young boy who is brutally abused by his mother and told he is worthless and that because he was born he was to be punished. Throughout the whole text he is excluded from every aspect of everyday life, he is made to wear the same clothes with holes in them every day, sleep on the cold garage floor every night, not eat anything let alone eat with the family, and not once is he able to belong or share in any activity or even human communication.

A distinctive line which provides evidence of this is as follows, ‘I truly believed, at that moment, that death would be better than my prospects for any kind of happiness. I was nothing but an IT. ’ The statement mentioned above, ‘the need to belong marks us as human and it is such connections that lead to fulfilment’ can be explored through this one given quote. A sense of belonging was stripped from Dave, he was never given the privilege, he refers himself as an IT as he was told that he was an IT a meaningless pointless object not even worthy to be given the title of he or she as he should not have even been born or human.

Being stripped of an identity and being marked as an inanimate object clearly allocates no feelings of belonging in the mind of any person and therefore without this sense of belonging Dave feels he would rather be dead. Without this sense of belonging he has no ‘prospects for any kind of happiness,’ without belonging he has no fulfilment in his life and hence the connections between the need to belong and the fulfilment received through this sense. Through an analysis of texts it can be interpreted that it is in human nature to long to belong, and it is through this that we as humans receive fulfilment.

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