It is always beneficial for individuals to achieve a sense of belonging

7 July 2016

It is always beneficial for individuals to achieve a sense of belonging. Discuss this statement by referring to your prescribed text and a self-selected text. For individuals to achieve a sense of belonging is beneficial as it’s a place, feeling, even a person that makes you feel a sense of security and that you are not alone in this world. When someone doesn’t belong they could feel a sense of isolation and it’s distressing, the extremes of not belonging are portrayed in my self-selected text “Refugee Blues” a poem by W.

H Auden and in my prescribed text “Strictly Ballroom” a film directed by Baz Luhrmann shows us that belonging is a valuable concept. The main protagonists in “Strictly Ballroom” are Scott Hastings and Fran, they initially do not belong to the orthodoxy of the dance federation as indicated through the costuming contrast between them and other Federation dancers, the other ballroom dancers all dressed in very lurid costumes, have peroxide hair and fake grins in comparison Scott has a black plain suit with a very natural unhappy smile.

It is always beneficial for individuals to achieve a sense of belonging Essay Example

“I’m putting on my happy face” says Shirley Hastings and this alerts us that it is an artificial community of dancers. Scott wanted to dance and live authentically. This indicates that Scott is an outsider, not fitting into the norms of the federation. Just as Scott Hastings has been ostracised by the federation, there is a similar idea portrayed in the poem “Refugee Blues”. In “Refugee Blues” we see the extremes of not belonging where a whole religious group (Jewish people) are being ostracised and denied there right to belong by the German Nazi’s.

In the poem the repetition of “Yet there’s no place for us” emphasis’s the underlying statement that the Germans are not acceptant of the Jewish people and they are seen as outsiders and unacceptable. Due to their cultural identity the Germans believed that the Jewish people were different. The difference in cultural identity is also depicted in “Strictly Ballroom” but obvious not to the same extent. Fran, Scott’s love is disguise, also faces a major cultural barrier that makes her feel isolated from both Australian culture and the Dance Federation.

Fran is from a Hispanic background, so therefore this becomes an obstacle for her that when she addresses herself the camera makes a close up showing her nervousness and trembling when asked her full name she never states her surname, she says “Just Fran”. Fran is ashamed that she will not fit in and is seen as different. Fran finds it difficult to solve this as no one in the federation understands or is willing to help her; a lack of security is also depicted in “Refugee Blues”.

The Jewish people do not belong and there is no official who can or is willing to help them; “Come back next year” when they need immediate help, we can see this indication with the extract telling the Jewish people to come back next year knowing that they are unable to help and aren’t willing to battle for them we see this due to W. H Auden’s use of build-up of images that increasingly gives us this idea of their vulnerability and helplessness. Scott Hastings is faced with a contrary concept.

Scott Hastings becomes resistant when faced with Fran initially, she proposes her desire of wanting to be his dance partner and maybe even more, but he is persistent in convincing her and himself that they do not belong to each other. Scott doesn’t realise then that she holds the ability to give him that sense of authentic belonging, as she is seen as even more of an outsider because she is from a different culture and has a lower dancing ability compared to him. Fran convinces Scott to come to his senses “You’re just really scared! Really scared to give someone new a go”.

A close up on Scott’s face shows the emotions running through Scott which was shock and acceptance that he has found someone who understands him but he must overcome his pride and prejudice in order to accept Fran and authentic acceptance. As Scott has come to that acceptance so does W. H Auden in the poem, but to the acceptance of not belonging, the acceptance of death. “Thunder rumbling in the sky” which is symbolism used to indicate what will happen to the Jewish people of Germany because they do not belong therefore a terrifying outcome of death.

In conclusion, “Strictly Ballroom” by Baz luhrmann and W. H Auden’s poem, “Refugee Blues” both indicate the concept of belonging and not belonging and the importance of it. “Refugee blues” has a non-beneficial terrible outcome due to no sense of security, not belonging, but in “Strictly Ballroom” Scott Hastings finds a sense of security and authentic belonging within another individual and therefore it is beneficial as he finds acceptance. Through my prescribed text and my self-selected text you can see that belonging is beneficial to individuals as it is life changing.

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