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As You Like It Essay

1601 words - 7 pages

‘An individual’s interaction with others and the world around them can enrich or limit their experience of belonging.’ Discuss this view with detailed reference to your prescribed text and two other related texts of your own choosing.

Any sense of belonging must arise through the connections we make with others and the world around us. Shakespeare’s play As You Like It, Sean Penn’s 2007 film Into The Wild and Christina Anu’s song My Island Home all demonstrate this concept, and show that belonging is a natural instinct and one fundamental to a meaningful life. Both As You Like It and Into The Wild contain pastoral elements that contribute to belonging as well as portraying that belonging ...view middle of the document...

Also, the transition from the high density of formal verse in the opening scenes to the more frequent use of prose, which signifies acceptance and familiarity, towards the end of the play reinforces this transition from tension and not belonging to unity. This harmonious ending is epitomized in the final scene in which “these eight… take hands.” This scene shows that the characters do form relationships there in which they belong, being a clear indication that belonging is an innate part of the human condition. Through the natural setting of the play, Shakespeare emphasises that belonging is a natural state of humanity. Similarly, Into The Wild contains pastoral elements that contribute to belonging in the film. Like the “painted pomp” of the court in As You Like It, Penn portrays society as “oppressive”, employing dark metaphors of warfare to reinforce this; fence posts are “black sword-tips” and red tiles “hardened blood”. The dinner scene is muted, with the use of shaky hand-held camera emphasising the tension and estrangement. By contrast, the wilderness acts as a catalyst for belonging in which the protagonist realises the significance of connections with people to happiness. All scenes of him in the wild are shot in rich natural light, as opposed to the exaggerated fluorescent lighting used in the civilised scenes. This contrast in lighting suggests that both the Forest Of Arden and the wild are places of healing where characters learn about the nature of belonging and the importance of a person’s connections with others and the world around them.

Christina Anu’s song My Island Home was written in the perspective of Australia’s native people and Torres Strait Islanders. Anu shares her perception that belonging to certain people or a certain place creates our ideology of life and where we rightfully belong. The persona in the song has a strong connection with her ancestors, both culturally and historically, and this connection is portrayed by the choice of language used in the song. Anu uses a first person narration to show pride and deep love for belonging to Australia and Indigenous people stating, “my home is Australia”. This creates our perspective of belonging to be one of happiness with self and the world around us. Her perception of belonging is created in her adolescent years, sharing the cultural and traditional connections with her community as she adopts the similar connection to the land and sea the native people have. This adoption is evident in the bridge of the song “in the boat on the sea again, and I’m holding that long turtle spear, and I feel close to where it must be”, emphasising that her home must be by the sea because that’s where she is from and where she feels she belongs most. This is similar to both As You Like It and Into The Wild as she feels most at home in a natural environment comparable to the Forest Of Arden and the wild. It is evident that Anu’s experience of belonging is enriched by her interaction...

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