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We are driven by five genetic needs: survival, love and belonging, power,

freedom and fun. Quote by William Glasser


Good Morning Students and Teachers
We all have that desire to fit in and blend into whats deemed as mainstream, in
foreign places we tend to search for some form of familiarity in order to establish
a sense of comfort, a sense of belonging. We form connections with people,
places, groups, communities and the larger world and subconsciously generate
an impression of belonging. The concept of Belonging varies from perceptions
and ideas and these perceptions are shaped by different contexts: personal,
historical, cultural and social. There are negatives and positives, obstacles and
barriers that are able to prevent or enhance this Belonging and Peter
Skrzynecki successfully explores this complex concept in his Anthology; The
Immigrant Chronicles more specifically within the poems St. Patricks College
and in comparison Shaun Tan effectively grasps the concept of Belonging
wholeheartedly and expresses this within his picture book Eric.
St. Patricks College the factual tone throughout this poem, similar to the title
of 10 Mary Street, represents the disconnection of the personas physical and
mental sense of belonging towards Australian culture and the college and a
conceived emotional attachment as Skrzynecki never establishes any sense of
acceptance or belonging towards the school. In an attempt to fit in and blend
Peters mother enrols him into St. Patricks College as she was Impressed by
the uniforms Of her employers sons. This not only reveals no emotional
attachment but it shows that his mother does not base her decision on tradition
but rather on Keeping up with the Joneses a phrase mentioned in Feliks
Skrzynecki. The idiom unequivocally presents the idea of how people follow
around with whats mainstream and what was best rather than keeping an
unbiased or uninfluenced opinion. The personification of the statue of Mary on
the roof of the school in the line Our lady watched with outstretched arms, her
face overshadowed by clouds. Reveals an ambiguous perception of the personas
fate as the boy denoted the action as being a sign of his coming depressing time
in St Patricks College showing no sense of belonging. Caught the 414 bus like a
foreign tourist this deliberate wording emphasises the absence of any form of
belonging showing that he feels like a mere visitor rather than a permanent
resident and citizen revealing that his challenge to belong isnt rather a choice
but more so that he cannot belong in a school he was forced into for the sake of
his mother.
Correspondingly, the related text Eric by Shaun Tan similarly resembles that of
Peter Skrzyneckis anthology The Migrant Chronicles as it speaks of a foreign
exchange student in the image of Eric coming temporarily into a new home
with unfamiliar surroundings offering up almost alien experiences for Eric. The
depth and grace of this picture book is enthralled through the intense messages
laid bare in the underlining within Eric. Eric sleeping in the pantry rather than
the traditional guest room symbolises how different cultures and traditions may
work showing a challenge and barrier that is overlooked by the narrator. The
repetition of It must be a cultural thing emphasises the barrier between the
typical suburban family and the main persona Eric bringing forth and
emphasising the cultural aspect that challenges the positives of belonging.
Although the obvious barriers of language and culture Eric seems to find himself

deeply enthralled with each passing day as everything is peculiar and interesting
so instead of revealing a straight forward negative perspective of belonging
Shaun Tan explores the challenges and barriers of culture in regards to
Belonging.
In conclusion, the Anthology of The Migrant Chronicles explores the personal,
historical, social and cultural contexts that shape the perception of Belonging.
Feliks Skrzynecki, 10 Mary Street and St Patricks College each bring to light
the positives and negatives of Belonging through the means of poetic techniques
and correspondingly Eric by Shaun Tan successfully explores the perception of
belonging. Thank You.