Interactions with others are the most powerful influences that impact on an individual’s sense of belonging. This is portrayed through various techniques in the text Rainbow’s End by Jane Harrison and the graphic novel The Arrival by Shaun Tan. Harrison clearly conveys these interactions of belonging by utilizing the protagonists Gladys, Dolly and Nan Dear who desperately desire interactions with the white society. This is illustrated by the persona Glady’s who goes to great extent to interact with the bank manager to secure her daughter a proper job. This is portrayed by the steely tone “she’d fit in fine” with which she speaks to the Bank Manager about Dolly. This generates the determination in Gladys tone which emphasizes her desire to interact and assimilate into the greater white society.
Furthermore the stage direction of “she opens the book – celestial music is heard. She touches the pages lovingly” emphasizes her desire to interact with the white community as the encyclopedia represents the white society and her reading the book illustrates that she is interacting with the white society. This is because of the constant segregation forced upon aboriginal since whites are more civilized and higher classed.
Also the dialogue “Us Aboriginals are not welcome in the townships” emphasizes Nan Dear’s opposition to interact with the white society. This indicates Nan Dear’s individual experience of not belonging. Also this illustrates that the aboriginals are segregated since the whites think aboriginals are less civilized and less cultured hence aboriginals has suffered brutal exile and also worsened by assimilation.
Also the dialogue of “Gladys curtsying is presenting a bouquet of flowers to the queen… the queen pulls her into a hug” “light come back to reality.. Gladys is holding a bunch of weeds” illustrates the contrast between reality and the dream. This symbolizes her desire to belong and interact with the white society. This is contradicted with weed since she is aboriginal. This highlights her need to belong to ‘white society and the be accepted. Even the curtsy demonstrates that she adopts Western Culture to belong demonstrating that she is assimilated the white culture.
During the Queen’s visit, the wider community places a hessian over the road, preventing the Queen from being able to see the embarrassing humpies where the Aboriginals are made to live. This is shown in Nan Dear’s line, “Hessian! Like a Band-Aid over a sore. This also prevents Gladys from being able to see the Queen, “the hessian… I couldn’t get through and couldn’t get through and couldn’t even peek over. The simile in Nan Dear’s line demonstrates that the Australian government is not dealing with the problem of Aboriginal housing properly, just covering it up “like a Band-Aid” The hessian is a symbol of the segregation between the two cultures. This highlights the fact that Aboriginal people do not belong in the world of ‘white’ Australia, as they are covered up and prevented from joining in. this is a strong example of the power to belong to others. Dolly
Simliarily the visual text The Arrival by Shaun Tan also conveys the individual experiences of interaction with others and the world. The persona in The Arrival is fleeing from his home and country since he does not belong here. With the help of interactions with new beings in the new country he builds are strong relationship with a friend and together they find a strong sense of belonging in the new country. The use of sepia in the page where the migrants huddle up together illustrates the lack of confidence to interact with others in the new world at first. This emphasizes the…..
Also the use of dark and malicious tones the overshadowing images of the adverse boat that towers over the migrants further signifies that migrants are defenceless and have no confidence with interactions with others…
This is contradicted with the use of symbolism of the alien creature and the white origami bird who befriends the protagonist. This generates the idea that he is finally integrated into the new society by interacting with others. This reminds him of where he has come from and act as an inspiration for him to continue through difficult times. They are representative of how belonging is about people and relationships and not physical locations as they are unstable.
In conclusion the text Rainbows End by Jane Harrison and the graphic novel The Arrival by Shaun Tan clearly convey the interaction between people to seek a greater connection between other societies. This is demonstrated clearly by the use of techniques and dialogue.