Humanity possesses an innate desire for belonging, for its ability to reshape identities and provide Individuals with a heightened sense of acceptance, security and purpose. William Shakespearean pastoral comedy As You Like It (c. 1599), T. S. Elite’s The Love song of J Alfred Froufrou (1915) and John Bricks painting Collins SST, pm (1955) demonstrate belonging as an Intrinsic and self-driven connection shaped by one’s social and cultural contexts. Through these texts, the responder more clearly understands that belonging can enhance an individual’s understanding of themselves and their world.
Shakespearean As You Like It reflects humanity’s instinctive desire to belong to particular places and communities as a major aspect in shaping one’s identity. The allegorical depiction of the Forest of Arden as the “golden world” contrasts with the toxicity of the court, with this duality allowing for a meaningful exploration of the impact of place on the individual. Indeed, the exiled forester Duke Senior uses figurative language to describe the “envious court” as “painted pomp”, the harsh plosives attesting to its covetous, superficial nature.
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Raising’s alliterative confession to Celia that she “shows more mirth than [she] Is sisters of” underlines her adoption of a faded to mask the discontent Inside the stifling atmosphere of the court, despite her affiliation with her “sweet coo”. She Is unable to achieve happiness and belong wealth such a place and its corruption contrasts with the “Forest of Arden”, which Shakespeare uses as a Biblical allusion to the utopian Garden of Eden.
As such, Duke Frederick’s entering the forest to “take his brother and put him to the sword” showcases his transformation from a cruel persona with “eyes of fury” into “an old religious man”, asserting the ability of place to alter one’s sense of belonging and character. While humanity’s relationship with place can provide security and contentment, the persistent and unyielding pursuit of belonging can lead to a loss of self through conformity. This is explicated in track’s painting Collins SST. , pm (1 955), which saliently depicts office workers trudging In unison along a Melbourne street after a days work.
The proximity of the Bank of New South Wales In the background portrays a society tainted by monetary Ideologies and materialist values that shape a superficial sense of belonging. The uniformity of the spiritless facial expressions of these workers exposes the extent to which identities are sacrificed in their desire to remain homogeneous. The painting’s sepia overtone is reflective of the tedium of this existence, contrasting with Duke Seniors ironic description of his gratified life in the Forest as “more free from exile than the court”, as it is a place of “liberty.
Indeed, Barack reinforces the destruction of individualism and the impairment of self-actualization through the vector created by the workers gazing in the same direction down the street. It guides the responder towards the belief that everyone aspires towards the same ideals in a conformist society, ultimately resulting In the destruction of the Idiosyncratic nature of humanity. Shakespearean As You Like It establishes that belonging to meaningful relationships ultimately brings about a sense of fulfillment, represented primarily through the eliding of the brotherly conflict between Oliver and Orlando.
Oliver’s hyperbolic description of his brother as “a secret and villainous contriver contrasts with his device”. It showcases the inner conflict that a lack of belonging causes, the uniqueness of which are seen through the physical separation of the workers in Collins SST. Pm, symbolizing emotional detachment. Oliver later realizes the error of his ways and admits to Celia “Some of [his] shame; if you will know of [him]” with a repenting tone, establishing that the forging of strong relationships provides a heightened state of belonging and cleanses one’s character.
The consequences of lacking such meaningful relationships are manifested prominently in the “melancholy Jacques”, where his retreat into an “abandoned cave” amidst the festivities of this pastoral comedy showcases his introverted and dreary existence. The rhyming couplet “we will begin these rites; And we do trust they’ll end, in true delights”, together with the stage directions “[they dance]” ultimately delineates that meaningful connections with others brings about a state of contentment.
Conversely, a scarcity of belonging results in a state of confusion and lack of purpose. This concept is explored in T. S Elite’s The Love Song of J Alfred Froufrou, through the hyperbolic portrayal of a man who is denied social and emotional gratification. Even though medical imagery likening Froufrou to a “patient otherwise upon a table” enders him vulnerable to society’s expectations of congeniality, he still displays a lack of purpose, as seen through the intellectual reference to Shakespearean Hamlet in his lament of how he was ‘not meant to be’.
Further, he constantly reassures himself through the biblical allusion to Ecclesiastic that “there will be time… For a hundred indecision”, paradoxically exhibiting his procrastination and reluctance to actively pursue attachment, despite his lack of belonging. As a result, the despondent tone in Frocks description of the “restless nights in one-night cheap hotels” are indicative of his lack of meaningful and sustained relationships, the ramifications of which are seen in Duke Frederick’s superficial and incoherent existence at the court.
Thus, it is clear that belonging is indeed an intrinsic and complex desire which can lead to loneliness and confusion when it is not actively pursued. Humanity possesses an intrinsic desire to belong for its ability to transform our identity and provide contentment. Through the aforementioned texts, we are able to better understand the importance of environment and relationships in the process of gaining a better understanding of ourselves and our world.