Belonging Essay

989 words - 4 pages

Through analysis and exploration of my chosen text, “A Selection of Songs by The Smiths”, as well comparisons linked to Emily Dickinson’s set poems, a vast array of representations of belonging have been discerned. Through an abundance of ideas, and devices used to convey thesis’s, the texts provide variable discourses as to how we can view belonging, exploring the state of belonging, mainly through its paradoxes. Thus the study of The Smith’s songs individually as well as comparatively to Emily Dickinson has contributed significantly to my understanding of belonging.
The concept of alienation is continually reverted to in the Smiths songs, emphasising the importance of this paradox to belonging, in the understanding of belonging itself. The songs continually use the theme of loneliness, desperation and frustration in face of desire to belong. This theme is similarly shared in the selection of Emily Dickinson poems, whereas understanding of belonging is taken from continuous reference to the variances between the persona and a wider society. The general majority of Smith’s songs are underlined with
Echoes of loneliness, in lyrical content, and the resonating quality of vocals by Morrisey. This concludes in a monotonous and haunting effect, emphasising desperation and isolation. Morrisey’s bleak and morbid approach is essential in establishing the human necessity to belong. His use of death as a motif replicates Dickinson’s, and represents the heightened state of emotions, and the struggle between life and death in pertaining a sense of belonging.
The songs establish that belonging, as well as an inner sense of balance, are essential to identity. This thesis is explored through absence of these characteristics in the persona’s recollections in the texts. In the song “How Soon in Now” writer Morrisey presents a persona who is crippled by loneliness and overwhelming shyness, and how this establishes a barrier against belonging. This is similar to the barriers against belonging experienced in the Dickinson texts in relevance to themes of dislocation to society due to the persona’s self-sanctioning and alienation. The lyrics “I am Human and I need to be loved” emphasise the necessity of human’s to belong and it’s repetition ads to the effect of the persona’s desperation to achieve this. Morrisey employs contrasting sentences within the lyrical content such as “I am the son and heir”, resonating power and control. This is compared with weaker statements such as “of nothing in particular”. Its effects establish confusion and lack of self-awareness in the persona. The persona is continually questioned throughout the text in there Self-descriptions, such as “criminally vulgar shyness”. Personal attributes such as this prevent companionship, and result in depression and consideration of death. This suggests that it is the persona’s self-hatred, and imbalance within that incites his alienation, preventing belonging. The continuous banshee sounds...

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