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By Madelyn Vial

Belonging Speech
Good morning/afternoon teachers and fellow students, The instinctive need to belong is the drive behind many of our everyday decisions, but what is belonging? To belong is to be a part of something larger than yourself; an emotional and physical connection to many of the people and places that make up our life. Today Im going to talk to you about the theme belonging that reoccurs throughout the texts Rainbows End a play by Jane Harrison and Partly Cloudy a short film animation by Pixar. Rainbows End is a play that centres around three aboriginal women and their struggle against animosity, alienation and discrimination in their community. Harrison conveys the idea of not belonging through a variety of techniques as seen through the characters Dolly and Gladys. Dolly is characterised as a hopeful student realistic of her place in life. Harrison often uses Dolly throughout the play to show the discrimination that not only her family but also the aboriginal community at large has to face on a daily basis. The use of anaphora in Its me that gets stones thrown at Its me that gets snide remarks highlights this, showing us that, despite her brave face, Dolly is not as unaffected by the animosity of her peers as she pretends to be. A few scenes into the play Harrison introduces Dolly to Errol, a whitefella of around the same age. Both Dolly and Errol find themselves attracted to each other, though of the two Dolly, being more realistic, is acutely aware of the differences in class that separate them. Dolly highlights the segregation through contrast; yelling in a loud blackfella accent when only moments before the clean cultured words of Errol could be heard. Though Dolly may only see in Errol the differences that separate them, Gladys, Dollys mother, sees Errol as an opportunity to better her daughters life, or rather, the encyclopaedias that Errol is selling, a metaphor for acceptance. Gladys, an optimistic and hopeful woman, is seen throughout the play eliciting change, and, determined to be accepted into the community, she is impervious to the discrimination she faces. Gladyss optimism is seen through dream sequences, often with Dolly the star. In a robe and clapboard hat Dolly is seen graduating, her mother bursting with pride. Gladys associates education with acceptance into the community, crossing the barriers of discrimination into a brighter future. Towards the end of the play Gladys is seen petitioning for aboriginal rights. Using dialogue; Were not second class citizens in our own home, Gladys addresses the segregation, alienation and discrimination her people face in their rightful homes, this shows the strong ties she has with her heritage. Like Rainbows End, Partly Cloudy shows themes of segregation and isolation, this is seen through the main character, Gus, as he goes about his daily life. Gus, a cloud charged with creating the babies of dangerous animals, is seen separated from his community through positioning. Guss
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By Madelyn Vial

segregation is obvious as we are introduced to his character, the camera drops from the happy clouds to the sad and uncertain cloud a fair distance from the rest. In those first moments another difference is obvious and is further proof to the isolation Gus feels. The happy and content facial expressions of the clouds above as they go about making harmless and adorable babies is in direct contrast to the uncertainty and anxiousness of Gus. While the soft pink clouds above laugh with their storks, Peck is subjected to the pain and terror of dealing with the dangerous newborns as he tries to deliver them. Gus is further alienated by his colour, the murky grey that symbolises sadness and depression. The use of personification as Gus and Peck hug and laugh despite the many hardships they face shows strong ties of friendship and acceptance towards each other. Both Rainbows End and Partly Cloudy display strong themes of belonging and not belonging towards the people that make up their lives, influencing their decisions and colouring their perceptions. Too many people dont realise that to live we need those emotional connections just as we need air to breathe; to belong is an intrinsic part of our life, vital to our survival.

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