Peter Skrzynecki Essay
An individual’s perception of belonging evolves in response to the passage of time and interaction with their world. To what extent is this view of belonging represented in your prescribed text and at least one related text. One’s attitude to belonging can be greatly influenced overtime, due to uncontrollable forces impacting on them. In Felik’s Skrzynecki’s, the father and the persona are slowly pushed away due to cultural differences. The notion of not belonging additionally, is illustrated in Peter Skrzynecki’s other poem, St Patrick’s College as during the persona’s education, he becomes more alienated from the school.
In comparison, the film Rabbit Proof Fence directed by Phillip Noyce illustrates how cultural intervention eventually, can alter a family perspective on belonging. Each text powerfully explores the significance of belonging, as they are slowly altered overtime. As time progresses, a connection towards the land but also the detachment from your family can influence the notion of belonging. In Felik’s Skrzynecki, it explores how Felik already has a metaphorical home to the garden as he constantly “swept its paths – Ten time around the world”.
The hyperbole conveys a sense of attachment to the garden, as it symbolises the physical journey to stay within its boundaries. Though, the persona feels distanced from his father’s heritage as he unconsciously inherited parts of his Polish background as he remembers “remnants of a language – I inherited unknowingly”. The emphasis of “unknowingly” highlights the first sign of not belonging, as he remembers “remnants” of his Polis heritage. Within the last stanza, the persona’s lack of involvement in his father’s heritage is conveyed through the metaphor “tents/ Further and further south of Hadrian’s wall”.
The metaphor conveys that due to the interaction of Australian society, he will drift away from his Polish background, as the wall itself signifies a barrier between one another. Throughout the persona’s childhood, his interaction with the Anglo-Saxon background overall alters his experience between him and his father. In St Patrick’s College, isolation and alienation affect the persona’s ability to fit in, eventually causing him to feel more dispatched from the school.
The constant trip to St Patrick’s College is one in which should feel a sense of attachment, though a simile conveys his estrangement as he regularly “Caught the 414 bus – Like a foreign tourist”. The word “foreign” hints that the persona is unacquainted with the setting, despite him frequently catching the bus. The notion of not belonging throughout his educating life is emphasised through the repetition of the phrase “for eight years”. It conveys that due to his time at the institute, he still feels distanced from the school. The persona is metaphorically isolated due to his cultural differences with the Australian society.
In the final stanza, he expresses his detachment from the school, “That the darkness around me”. The metaphor illustrates that he had the inability to feel any sense of affection as the last line “let my light shine” contrasts with light and darkness, indicating his disinterest in the school. The persona throughout his schooling life never feels welcomed to the school, making him more isolated from the school and the general public. The Australian environment to the Aborigines is of important significance, especially in the opening scenes of the movie.
In Rabbit Proof Fence, the start of film begins with a voiceover from Molly as the aerial camera daunts over the Australian desert. Instead of using English, she uses her native language “Our people, the Jigalong mob, we were desert people then, walking all over our land”. The use of their traditional language and first person creates a connection to their land, displaying their ownership. The voiceover is then continued as “the white people came to our land” symbolising their invasion of the Australian outback and additionally displaying a disconnection between white people and the Australian environment.
The camera then continues to explore the Australian desert reemphasising the connection that Aboriginals people have with the Australian land due their prolonged period within Australia. During this scene, a close up Molly with a smile of satisfaction demonstrates her link to the land. The opening scenes of the film Rabbit Proof Fence, conveys the association that indigenous people have with the Australian land. As the film progresses, a change in the girls comes apparent due to their uncomfortable surroundings of white men and women.
When the girls first get taken from their mother, jerky movements and close up shots of the girls as they are forced into a automobile conveys how powerless their mother is as she slaps the car’s window. The window acts as a barrier between the mother and her daughters, symbolising the separation from each other. Their ability to not belong is reemphasised once they arrive at “Moore River Training Settlement” a half caste camp for indigenous Australians whilst they are eating food. Daisy eats with her down and shivers, demonstrating her nervousness and separation from her parents.
A close up of her speaking her native language is interrupted by a maid “We’ll have no wangka here – you talk English. Now eat! ”. The imperative and derogatory tone of the sister demonstrates how due to their placement in the camp, they are forced to give up their cultural heritage and adapt the new Anglo-Saxon society. Due to their placement within the camp, it is enforced to relinquish their aboriginal heritage, signifying their unpleasant surroundings. People’s attitudes throughout all three texts are ultimately modified due to exterior influences.
Within Felik’s Skrzynecki, the cultural difference between Polish and Australian society slowly drives the father and son apart. In St Patrick’s College, the persona never connects to the school, as feels more alienated from the general public of the school. Lastly, in Rabbit Proof Fence, the three indigenous girls are subject to change as white men take control and force a white traditional background into them so they can fit into Australian society. To belong is to feel a part of something, though within each text, they ultimately alter due to the passing of time and exterior influences.