“A sense of belonging comes from the connections made with people, places, groups, communities and the larger world , but are often made on an individual basis to begin with. The prescribed text “The Simple Gift “ by Herrick and a speech by Craig Ashby “A Getting of Wisdom” from the Sydney Morning Herald (2007) , a related text will be the focus of this essay. ” “The connection with a community often begins on an individual level. When Billy meets Ernie on the way to Bendarat, he discovers that there are “men who don’t boss you around and don’t ask prying questions” and “then there are men like my Dad.
The lack of hostility shown by Ernie reveals that there are some men who are accepting and understanding which highlight the values of his community and how he was raised. The technique employed by Herrick is contrast as previously shown when Billy has a flashback of the “backhander across the face” from his father who demonstrated a lack of kindness and understanding. This contrast shows that individual relationships are the foundations in developing a sense of community. Only with understanding can connections create true happiness.
In chapter four , “the hobo hour”, (chapter and poem title share the same title) connection is made between Billy and Old Bill (pg 48) where the young protagonist describes his understanding as “… we both sit staring at the beer and the sunrise, sharing the hobo hour”. The use of “we both” suggests inclusiveness with the community. The reference to “sunrise” is symbolism signifying the start of something new. Similarly Craig Ashby achieves this state of understanding through his experiences at gaining an education, “… ven though I could not read or write when I went to Joey’s, not once did any kid call me dumb… maybe they understood me… no one ever had a go at me about it”.
A sense of belonging can come from the connections we make with people and communities whether they be solitary or in the field of education and learning. Flashbacks , connections are still strong regardless of time. In chapter 5 ‘‘work’’ , Old Bill quotes ‘‘But my jessie , my sweet lovely jessie . fell and i fell with her and i’ve been falling ever since. And this pub this beer , these clothes , this is where i landed.
In reference to places Old bill shows a stream of consciousness in thinking in words and flashbacks to when his strongest memory of his daughter Jessie. One does not have to belong to an established or already defined group in order to find a sense of belonging. In chapter seven, when the “two hobos” visit Caitlin for a meal, Old Bill feels a sense of connection with the rooms in Caitlin’s house, even though he does not belong to her house.
“Old Bill kept wandering from room to room discovering another side to the moon. ” The exaggerated reference to the moon is symbolic of something extraordinary, or ‘out of this world. In the same way, Craig Ashby started at St. Joey’s, not sure of what lay ahead of him, however he had a sense of routine and he felt accepted. “Even though I could not read or write when I went to Joey’s, not once did any kid ever give me a hard time about it or call me dumb. ” Individuals have the initial control over creating a sense of belonging, even though the connections made with people, places, groups, communities and the larger world also contribute. This is shown through the prescribed text “The simple Gift” by Herrick and “A getting of Wisdom,” a speech by Craig Ashby.