Belonging is a multi-faceted construct that involves intrinsic facets of human nature that are reliant on the individual’s life-long bond with assorted societal. political and interpersonal relationships. Belonging is besides cardinal in determining an individual’s nucleus values and individuality. therefore it is cardinal to the human status. A sense of belonging is developed through strong relationships over clip is explored in Steven Herrick’s novel ‘The Simple Gift’ and Armin Greder’s image book ‘The Island’ . In The Simple Gift we see how an individual’s interaction with others can take to a sense of belonging. Sharing common values and discontent with their household life enable the three supporters to bond because of their shared experience of loss and want. Billy Luckett. Catlin Holmes and Old Bill are all get awaying the emotional and psychological hurting associated with their several households and as a consequence all three characters become anomic and is connected through this shared negative experiences.

In the verse form Champagne. the usage of unfavorable judgment when mentioning to his male parent as ‘The old Bastard’ accentuates both Billy’s sense of disaffection and sense of disjunction from both household and topographic point. The ground behind Billy’s disaffection is non merely because of the absence of any mother figure. but because of his dysfunctional relationship with his indurate male parent. who has destroyed Billy’s sense of belonging or connection to the household. The nature of this relationship is conveyed when Billy’s male parent displays a violent episode in the verse form ‘Spent’ . where Herrick adopts flashback techniques: ‘he gave me a backhander when I was merely ten’ . As ‘actions speak louder than words’ . his father’s negative impact on Billy’s ability to belong is made evident when Billy chooses to be become stateless instead than remain at place with his male parent.

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The trouble associated with non being able to develop a sense of belonging to other people. topographic points or shared events. motivates characters such as Billy and Caitlin to reject their family’s values as superficial and look for emotional security and a new environment of shared values through their growth relationship and love each other. Caitlin’s ain eviction from her household is similar to that of Billy’s because she sees them as mercenary and superficial. Disunity amongst the household can be seen through Caitlin’s negative interaction with her parents.

The novels negative undertone is revealed through the mention to Caitlin‘s parents’ societal economic position and a ‘dad who spoils and buys your unneeded crap’ and after naming the objects in her sleeping room. the her defiant tone in ‘I’m non a spoiled terror OK/ spoilt to boredom/ but I’m smart plenty to cognize that none of this means anything…’ . This perennial exaggeration highlight the superficial value of her parents and it besides creates a barriers between them. as Caitlin is seeking for something more religious and permanent. instead than merely following the in-between category values and traditions of her parents’ coevals.

The same deficiency of harmoniousness within household becomes a accelerator that strengthens their bond because it is based on common apprehension of each other’s circumstance. This emotional bond is metaphorically represented as Billy reflects on how he feels about Caitlin and the impact she has had on him. He likens their relationship to: ‘a circuit plans/ Caitlin at the centre/ and me whirling insanely in her orbit’ . the bond is symbolised as gravitation: a strong force which pulls two atoms near to one another. Their familiarity is marked by the euphemism: ‘I know what would go on and I know what I would desire to happen’ . The repeat of ‘happen’ accents their emotion apprehension of what love truly is and how it has developed ; unconditioned and selfless.

It is the caring nature of their relationship that nourishes their common love and regard for each other. This in bend. strengthens their ability to both separately transform their lives. Caitlin accepts Bill’s poorness and homelessness. regardless of her background or her parents’ middleclass values and traditions. This experience of common credence and apprehension is emphasised in her declaration: ‘I love Billy. I’m sure of him and I want my parents to cognize. ’

Furthermore. Billy’s transmutation is marked by his new profound attack to life which is illustrated I his peaceable temper as he sits in the Sun with Caitlin b the Bendarat river bank. The beauty and repose of the scene conveys a new positive attack to life which is juxtaposed with the sense of disaffection and ill will which was apparent at the beginning of the poetry novel. Therefore. a functional relationship. with Billy and Caitlin’s interaction with one another induces a sense of belonging.

In the verse form Comfort Billy reflects on his old isolation at Wentworthville High school and his inability to set up meaningful relationships with other pupils Billy had known for old ages: ‘I didn’t have any friends. I didn’t want any’ . ‘I kept myself in my sleeping room. reading and avoiding my father’ . Herrick juxtaposes this feeling of isolation that Billy felt in his unhappy place scene with the felicity and comfort he experiences when reading his books at Westfield Creek. Billy’s fond regard to this natural universe is revealed through the repeat of. ‘I love this topographic point. I love the flow of cold clear H2O over the stones. and the lappets on the bank and the lizard’s sunbaking. heads up. listening’ .

This redolent usage of descriptive item is used to body Westfield Creek as Billy’s front-runner schoolroom where he spends half of his school yearss reading the books he had stolen from the Megalong Bookshop. Later. when populating in Benderat. when Billy gets his first wage from his occupation at the Golden Crest Cannery. he reflects: ‘I wanted to pass the money rapidly. so I could travel back to nil. travel back to being rich and penniless once more. ’

Billy realises that he wants to remain in the town and instead than stealing ‘the midst Ag ring with the green emerald stone’ which reminded him of Caitlin’s eyes. he pays the jewelry maker $ 100 for the ring. This illustrates profound alterations in Billy’s moral behavior which has come about through a shared relationship with Caitlin. Their relationship is non based on mercenary values because the relationship has given him the inner assurance to get the better of his socially aberrant behavior and derive a sense of connection to important others to in his universe.

Another cardinal character who besides suffers the negative isolation and feelings of disaffection and disjunction from society is the fifty-year-old alky. old Bill who billy first meets in an old train passenger car. euphemistically referred to as the Bendarat Hilton. In The Hobo Hour Billy describes him in vivid inside informations: ‘His Grey face fungus was stained with fume. his long hair swept back. his face lined’ . Old Bill shortly becomes Billy’s alternate male parent and after a brief meeting Billy discovers it is his birthday and offers him the carton of coffin nails he stole from his male parent. As Old Bill gets up to travel to bed ‘to kip off his sorrows’ he spontaneously welcomes Billy: ‘Welcome to the Bendarat Hilton. I’ve been here since March 2nd. 1994. May your stay be every bit long as you wish it’ . Billy’s ‘Simple Gift’ of kindness towards Old Bill. has a profound impact on their relationship and Old Bill’s Socially aberrant behavior.

It is through the common support and regard for one another that these two homeless characters begin to bond. In the verse form Old Bill’s Fall. Old Bill Reveals the tragic inside informations associated with the decease of his ten-year-old girl Jessie who ‘Fell out of a tree and landed bad in a coma’ and the impact this calamity had on his life. The significance of the personal revelation of these painful events is revealed through the repeat of first individual narrative: ‘I sat beside her.

I held her manus. I talked to her and when she died. I went place and took to that tree with an axe’ . In sharing the hurting associated with Jessie’s decease with Billy. Old Bill is able to accomplish peace through the positive experience of closing and this begins to transform his life. This personal transmutation of Old Bill is symbolised by the key that he gives to Billy and Caitlyn to his house in order to forestall the immature twosome being separated by the governments. and Billy being sent back to his Longlands Road place. Old Bill is non merely giving Billy the keys to his place. he is get downing to allow travel of the yesteryear.

The short chapter titled Locks and Keys describes Old Bill giving Billy the Key to his household place. This is an emotional minute in the book as Old Bill is traveling frontward with his life. He will no longer stay dead and remain in his train passenger car. Billy wants to portion the minute with Caitlin. so he does non come in the house until she has finished school. Together they cross the threshold. ‘I insert the key. and turn it easy and force the door. I reach behind for Billy’s manus and we walk indoors. ’ It s through Old Bill’s ‘Simple Gift’ that Caitlin and Billy are able to get down their new journey together as the leave behind the isolation and disaffection associated with their childhood.

In The Simple Gift. it can be seen that belonging and non belonging is represented through the assorted shared relationships that are transformed through the single character’s connexions to topographic points and important events. It is through the credence of shared experience and kindness that allow the cardinal supporters an chance to get the better of the tragic events of their early life and set up a new positive beginning. Despite holding to confront homelessness. isolation and societal want. Billy and Old Bill both find independency and personal growing through their relationship in Bendarat. Billy besides transforms his life by set uping a new place with Caitlin. It is through these shared relationships all f the cardinal characters learn how to reconnect with society and set up a strong sense of belonging to the universe around them.

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