Perceptions of belonging and social identity are generated by our connections and allegiance to family, culture, religion and nation, however, some perceptions consist of dislocation and alienation caused by some of the very same concepts. These perceptions are explored In Steven Hayrick’s verse poem “The Simple Gift” and Richard Kelly’s film Donned Dark. In Steven Hayrick’s The Simple Gift it is about a 16 year old teenager who is abused by his father. Heroic shows this when Billy metaphorically says “He gave me one hard chandler across the face, so hard I fell down… ND slammed the door shut on my sporting childhood”. This shows alienation and isolation caused by his father. At the beginning Billy does not belong, he is isolated from everyone. He has no sense of self. He chooses to run away to hopefully find himself. In the process of this journey he has to overcome many obstacles and challenges. We see this through the technique of Imagery when Billy says “l snuggle under the bow of this speeding speedboat and my teeth clenched In some wild frost bitten grin”.
The physical dislocation and loneliness on the freight train make the audience develop an emotional connection to ay. The first time Billy and old Bill meet Billy gives old Bill cigarettes. Billy metaphorically says “Sharing the hobo hour” This shows Billy connecting with Old Bill by offering the cigarettes. It also symbolizes a new day and a new chapter. As they grow closer, Old Bill is aware of Billy’s need for money, although he resents work he chooses to go work at the cannery with him. Old Bill says, “l haven’t worked in years”.
The use of entrant shows that his relationship with Billy is important enough for him to change, this shows a sense of belonging to each other. Belonging Is a fundamental need as demonstrated In Mascots hierarchy of needs. The author Steven Heroic uses light Imagery and a sleek when Billy makes love with Cattail. Billy says ” It was like falling headlong into the clear waters of Battered River. This is the ultimate act of belonging. Billy through this relationship has enabled him to belong to a person, which ultimately helped Cattail to belong to Billy.
Belonging is a perception shaped within personal, social, cultural and historical context. While to most the concept only includes acceptance and security. There can be two sides to belonging positives and negatives. Kelly conveys these perceptions to the responder through the use of techniques and strong themes, which manufactures the responder’s emotions for the character Donned and reflects It, back to them. Many concepts of belonging are shown in Richard Kelly’s film Donned Dark. The film protagonist Billy from the Simple Gift.
Donned is a troubled, disconnected, detached teenager, growing up in a typical conventional American town. However, it is shown early in the beginning of the film that Donned clearly does not fit in with this environment. Donned has diagnosed personality disorders, which alienate him from society and his family. Iodine’s family solution is to increase his level of medication. The medication symbolizes his society’s ignorance and lack of interest to fully investigate his disorders. Juxtaposing his, troubles and detachment as an adolescent, tit his conventional regular family, also showing Iodine’s alienation.
The result, conflict and arguing. His disorders outcast him from his own family, causing him not to belong to his own family. This is very closely seen in the Simple Gift. Throughout the film there is a strong theme of insecurity and isolation. Kelly shows this through the lighting of the scenes. Throughout the movie Iodine’s face is always shadowed even when there is light around him. Donned chooses to isolate himself from society. He’s an outcast. This changes when he meets Gretchen. Donned comes out of his suit of armor and opens up to her.
This creates a sense of belonging to each other. This is shown in the scene when Donned and Gretchen make love. Kelly uses camera angles to get a close up shot on them showing the audience that they are connected to one another. Before Gretchen meets Donned she is also isolated. With an abusive stepfather (like Billy) it makes it hard for her to belong. Gretchen metaphorically says, “Some people are Just born with tragedy in their blood”. This shows alienation and isolation and creates a sense of emotion to the audience.
Both Donned and Gretchen are able to overcome their struggle and find with whom they belong with, each other. The strong theme of belonging conveyed in both texts can make the responder inherit their emotions through the use of various techniques and dialogue. The Simple Gift and Donned Dark can relate with one another through the theme of belonging. Each individual from both texts struggle but are able to overcome this by finding whom they belong with. Struggle is inevitable, we all struggle but it is the places and people who let us overcome this and belong.