Belonging Essay

Belonging essay Belonging is a path to knowledge and through it we gain a sense of our identity and concept of self. Family connections and relationship to the context, we form our sense of self. In “Rainbow’s End”, “We look after our own” and “Rabbit Proof Fence”, we see both belonging and alienation result from acceptance. In “Rainbow’s End”, a sense of belonging is depicted through the Dear family in which the protagonist Dolly despite the conflicting issues with her mother, Dolly rejects Errol’s proposal as he offers her a new life by taking her away from the family. Dolly understands her identity is also shown when she is asked to list out her family members in a family tree. Nan Dear states that “you need to know who your cousins are, so you don’t marry ‘em”. Errol’s disbelief that “you, you’d rather live in a humpy”, is also the audience’s misconception, but places importance on our understanding of herself and the world around their life. A sense of belonging is conveyed in ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’ as the physical hardship of the journey begins to tell.

The obstacles of the journey, with the symbolic landscape, are juxtaposed with the innocence of Molly slowly carrying Daisy and the police car speeding on smooth terrain. It is Mr Neville’s belief that “their lives may be at stake”, and he seems concerned yet the girls wrong turn west has saved them. The shot of Moodoo looking at the ground where Molly tried to throw him off the trail, then giving a tiny smile, tells the audience that they have escaped from the white domination/capture.

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His sense of belonging, especially to the Aboriginal culture is affirmed. In Rainbow’s End, Errol asks Dolly to “leave the river” (pg171) and go to Brighton for a “better life” (pg 171). Errol explains that he is offering a “future” to which Dolly replied that “a real home is where there are people looking out for each other. ” Her repetition “Don’t matter if the floors are dirt. Don’t matter one bit,” conveys her desire not to accept Errol proposal for a better life.

Her explanation that “our life isn’t perfect but like Nan says, it’s ours” conveys the fact that her sense of alienation at Errol’s suggestion. A sense of alienation is depicted in Rabbit Proof Fence, when the girls are relocated to the Moore River Settlement. They are placed into a dark dormitory, they are “graded” for skin colour and Olive, a runaway is placed into a tin shed for punishment. The symbolically dark journey through 92 nights is depicted with increasing darkness.

The shot of the train passing through open scrub, a river gorge and over a bridge at dawn shows the audience that the girls are moving into an unknown world, with the cacophonic sound, added to the feeling of dislocation. A sense of alienation is depicted in Rainbow’s End, when Errol takes Dolly to the Miss Mooroopna Shepparton Ball and they are having a wonderful time enjoying themselves. Until it was time to reveal who is the winner of the Miss Mooroopna Shepparton Ball.

Dolly has a dream that she was the crowned the winner of the Miss Mooroopna Shepparton Ball that she was so astounded and excited that she had won something. When in reality Nancy Woolthorpe actually won. Nancy Woolsthorpe decided that wouldn’t it be fun if she didn’t embarrass Dolly in front of everyone so she lets out an outburst, “Why, if it isn’t Miss Dolores Banks herself. Love your dress, Dolly love the fabric. (With giggle)My mother quite liked it too. When it was our sunroom curtains. But, you know, I thought we took them to the tip.

Dolly humiliated in front of everyone after the outburst by Nancy Woolthorpe that she feels alienated from society that she runs out of the Shepparton Ball in shame that she couldn’t get a proper dress from the store because her family is not rich like people from the white society. The scene of the dream sequence is significant because it is portraying the life that Dolly wants which is to be able to feel that she not only that she belongs in one society but another society through acceptance compared to the reality where her family is being shut out of the society by being alienated from the white society.


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