Tim Winton – Belonging Speech
The cause of his alienation appears to be physical and psychological abuse from his father, lack of caring from his school and his run down neglected neighbourhood with its “deadbeat no hoper… downtrodden house in Longlands Rd, Nowheresville”. | The symbolism and scatological imagery establishes a decaying, decrepit and depressing environment, which reveals Billy’s isolation. Another evocative portrait is the internal monologue in the poem “Sport” in chapter one. The ‘pain and suffering’ of ‘soulless tyranny’ endured by Billy, from ‘the old bastard’ his father. This technique of expletive language is used to depict the poor relationship he shared with his father “he gave me one backhander… I felt the blood” and his attitude toward the world he’s living in. This is the first pivotal event that Billy retells, which initially demonstrates the change in his identity and belonging. | Later in the book Billy catches a train. He is uncertain where the train will take him. Herrick engages the reader with Billy’s significantly violent memory of his father “with the forces of a father’s punch”. The metaphoric terms further reveal Billy’s harsh living environment he is seeking to escape. Ernie’s train whistle in the poem “Another crossing” symbolises the beginning of Billy’s new life contrasted favourably by Ernie’s ‘not bossing you around’ where Herrick uses the technique of multiple perspective. His next positive role model is Irene, Bendarat’s Librarian, who welcomes him and encourages him to borrow books. | These two characters are used by Herrick to enrich Billy’s moral parameters and direct him in his notion of identity allowing him to reach his sense of belonging. Herrick induces us to feel empathy rather than antagonism to the protagonist.
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This is accomplished through the intimate use of language, changing perspectives and personal anecdotes. | Growth in maturity is shown as both Billy and Old Bill show signs of growth as they help each other. Billy’s growth is demonstrated as he becomes a ‘different’ individual from the beginning of the narrative poem showing positive thinking “sure there’s hope in the world… even for hobos like us”. | Herrick also represents this change through his use of natural imagery and pathetic fallacy; exemplified in the poem “Hobos like us”, “Sit in the sunshine”.
Old Bill’s view of the world slowly starts to change, as the protagonist reduces his consumption of alcohol and ventures to move on with his life. This is done through Herrick’s use of Motif throughout the novel of Old Bills alcoholic nature. | While Old Bill demonstrates the symbolism of ‘A Simple Gift’ when he gave his keys to his old home to Caitlin and Billy symbolizing his final pivotal moment enriching Billy’s, Caitlin’s and Old Bill’s understanding of their identity, which leads to their understanding of where they belong in the world. |
Tim Winton’s “The Turning” also explores this value of events that shape a persons identity and hence their sense of belonging in their world. The short story “The Turning” tells the narrative of Raelene, which reveals the notion as grand paradox, where small lives are contrasted by the immense grand scale of the world. | The use of significant events in the life of Raelene enriches her understanding of her identity and through this allows her to discover where she belongs in the world. | The character of Raelene is in an abusive relationship where she feels she is isolated from the world around her.
This is exemplified by the quote “when Rae laughed at him he clouted her in front of the kids”. The colloquial language and sparse imagery allows the reader to understand Raelene’s lack of belonging. | The use of colloquialisms is repeated throughout the text, and is rich and powerfully inventive in demonstrating to the reader values of Australian society, and more specifically, values of belonging and not belonging in an Australian context. | Later in the text Raelene finds solace in meeting a couple whose relationship is affirmed on values of faith and spirituality.
The juxtaposition of this relationship with her current spouse allows Raelene to discover who she really is. | Winton utilizes religious connotations and motifs in order to demonstrate this, as shown through the quote, “she has something special“ whilst ‘Christ is holding his heart”. The use of religious intertextuality is also clear in that Winton describes the presence of a higher, spiritual power in the line “Deep down Rae sensed that she wanted something from them. ”| Raelene then reflects on her newly enriched identity, as demonstrated through the motif of the snow globe.
Within this globe is a symbol of her new-found religious faith, Jesus Christ. The holy figure becomes central to Raelene’s discovery of where she belongs in the world. | This is exemplified by Winton’s utilization of religious references, assonance and metaphor in the quote ‘snowed birds as the van rocked, birds like stars. ’ Through close reference to The Turning it is clear to see Tim Winton has skillfully crafted a text, which strongly demonstrates the influence of significant events on an individual’s discovery of identity, which is then revealed to allow the individual to discover where they belong in the world. |