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‘How Has Studying the Concept of Belonging Expanded Your Understanding of Yourself, and of Your World?’

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‘How has studying the concept of Belonging expanded your understanding of yourself, and of your world?’
In the world today, there is a certain restless nature and desire that lives deep within the human heart. Eternal and overwhelming, this inner struggle is one that fuels our innate need to identify with a group. For any individual, a perception of acceptance and understanding is a fundamental element of the human sense of self. Throughout this journey of finding acceptance, our personal identity becomes intertwined, and a newly found sense of belonging is created. By developing relations and connections with people, places, groups and communities, we create a “source of love and belonging that makes living in a chaotic world easier.” Global societies in the modern world are filled with various beliefs regarding personal identity as well as belonging. It is these beliefs that influence the way we observe, interpret and behave throughout our daily lives. Because of this, and the various other cultures that form our communities, perceptions regarding acceptance and understanding of numerous individuals may clash. As a result of this, feelings of belonging, or not, are developed. Through exploration of this notion and related texts, we able to comprehend acceptance in both contemporary and past generations, and how it has developed throughout history. Charles Dickens’ nineteenth century novel ‘Great Expectations’, Anne Paton’s 1998 letter ‘Why I’m Fleeing South Africa’ printed in the London Sunday Times and Shaun Tan’s 2006 graphic novel ‘The Arrival’ are all texts which demonstrate the possibilities presented by a sense of belonging to, or exclusion from, the world it represents.
‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens is a novel that portrays the overwhelming strength of human desire, and the incredible journeys one takes to discover a sense of belonging. This is...

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