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Area of Study Questions:

Questions:
1. A sense of belonging or not belonging can emerge from connections made with people, places,
groups, communities and the larger world. How have the connections or the lack of connections
your prescribed text and one related text of your own choosing shaped your understanding of
belonging or not belonging?
2. Discuss how an individuals choice not to belong or barriers which prevent belonging have been
presented in your prescribed text and one related text of your own choosing.
3. Discuss how language forms, features and structures have shaped your perception of belonging or
not belonging in your prescribed text and one related text of your own choosing.
4. Belonging is about a search for identity. Discuss the statement in relation to two of Dickinsons
poems and one text of own choosing.
5. Personal, cultural, historical and social contexts shape perceptions and ideas of belonging, or not
belonging. How have your perceptions and ideas of belonging, or not belonging been shaped
through your study of your prescribed text and ONE other related text of your own choosing?
6. A responder may experience and understand the possibilities presented by a sense of belonging to,
or exclusion from the text and the world it represents. Discuss the validity of this statement with
close reference to your prescribed text and ONE other related text of your own choosing
7. Discuss how a variety of language modes, forms, features and structures have shaped your
understanding of belonging or not belonging in your prescribed text and ONE other related text of
your own choosing.
Thesis 1: Our sense of belonging is developed as a means to resist the transitory nature of life.
Thesis 2: Dickinsons poetry represents the intrinsic discourse and consequent conflict between an
individuals sense of belonging and non-belonging. (Identity vs. acceptance)
Thesis 3: Belonging fundamentally revolves around the discovery of our identity, in relation to ourselves
and those around us.

A sense of belonging or not belonging can emerge from connections made with people, places, groups,
communities and the larger world. How have the connections or the lack of connections your prescribed
text and one related text of your own choosing shaped your understanding of belonging or not belonging?
Thesis: Our sense of belonging is developed as a means to resist the transitory nature of life.
Point 1: Belonging is inherently associated with non-belonging. A discourse ensues...
Point 2: Privilege of belonging redeeming qualities of belonging.
Point 3: Belonging is about maintaining and preserving our comfortabilities with ourselves; in
general all the things we connect with. Resisting change.
Eg. Desire for more, followed by the satisfaction with what they have. A return to reality.

A sense of belonging is developed as a means to resist the transitory nature of life. It is our sense of
belonging that embodies the connections we make as well as the desire to maintain them. Within Emily
Dickinsons poetry and Tim Wintons The Turning, both connection and disconnection are represented. It is
through the inherent discourse between belonging and non-belonging, that each text considers the
redeeming qualities of a sense of belonging and its defiance of change.
In Dickinsons This is My Letter to the World, a tension between the opposing spheres of belonging and
alienation exists. Throughout the poem, Dickinson employs contrasting tones to reflect the conflicting
nature of belonging and non-belonging. The world that never wrote to me, carries her tone of bitterness
and consciousness of her social exclusion. The persona then juxtaposes the images of her rejection to her
personified notion of nature which she describes with tender majesty. The fluidity, with which she
transitions between these two tones, conveys and represents the organic nature of belonging and
alienation. She then represents the conflict between the two concepts through the paradoxical dichotomy
of the world and nature. The poet manipulates their synonymity and opposes them a world that
rejects and nature that accepts, reflecting the seemingly paradoxical nature of belonging itself. However,
the true ambivalence of the concept of belonging exists in the interpretation of the poets ironic revelation
towards belonging. Initially the poem appears to voice the personas desire to belong emphasised by the
conceit of the letter. By the end of the poem, she rejects the idea of mindless conformity as she ironically
implores for love of her, sweet countrymen; those referred, not genuinely loving nature nor fulfilling the
closeness suggested by countrymen. Ultimately the final two lines of the poem, revokes any certainty the
persona may have had about belonging. Hence Dickinson open-endedly explores the discourse between
belonging and non-belonging, perhaps realising that they can never be absolute.
The inherent relationship of belonging and non-belonging is similarly explored in Dickinsons I had Been
Hungry all the Years, though in this poem she explicitly privileges her immediate sense of belonging.
Identically to My Letter, the persona is represented as possessing a desire to belong in the hyperbole of
having been hungry all these years. Yet despite all her suffering stemming from her hyperbolic desires to
fulfil her hunger, she realises that belonging is all-encompassing and that ironically the hunger that
predicated her alienation was also a component of her belonging. The actions of I trembling...touched the
curious wine alters regular syntax for dramatic effect and mirrors the intrigue and hesitation of the poet,
setting the poem in motion with a strong sense of emotion. However, in fulfilling her hunger, what she
ends up doing is falsifying a sense of belonging represented with the jarring imagery of the berry of a
mountain bush transplanted to the road. Confronted with incongruence and awkwardness, in place of
the crumb the birds and I had...shared which identifies with the natural order, the poet had chosen the
plenty. Thus in the final stanza when she realises that nor was I hungry...hunger was a way...the
entering takes away, a profound emptiness is echoed in these observations she makes. The lack of action
and resigned tone assumed in the final stanza so starkly contrasts with the first stanza, that it is evident the
poet wishes to have maintained her hunger. Hence the hunger itself and alienation that resulted from it,

was an aspect of her belonging which was also fulfilling in the sense that her life was filled with purpose for
as long as she maintained those desires.
RESISTANCE TO CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DENYING CHANGE!!!
In Tim Wintons The Turning, the redemptive nature of our belonging is represented as providing a point of
reference in an ever-changing world.
In the new school year I more or less reinvented myself. Until that point, except for my connection with
Boner