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Strictly Ballroom (1992) directed by Baz Luhrmann, Uglies (2007) a novel written by Scott Westerfeld and The Wave (1981) a novella written by Morton Rhue all explore the human spirits craving for a sense of belonging

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Introduction

?The human spirit craves a sense of belonging? To what extent do the texts you have studied support this idea? A sense of belonging emerges from the acceptance and understanding connections with the larger world provides an individual. Humans seek a sense of belonging as it often provides security and fulfillment - a consolidation of one?s place in the world. However, although a sense of belonging is desirable, humans can experience negative sentiments towards connections with others and may crave not to belong within a specific community. Strictly Ballroom (1992) directed by Baz Luhrmann, Uglies (2007) a novel written by Scott Westerfeld and The Wave (1981) a novella written by Morton Rhue all explore the human spirit?s craving for a sense of belonging whilst conversely illustrating the desire for an individual to break away from the rigid conformity of a group. The craving of an individual to belong is exemplified through Shirley Hastings and Scott?s dancing partner Liz, both women who strive to be a part of the ballroom dancing world at any cost. The bold, thick layers of make up both characters adorn their faces with become metaphoric for masks they desperately wear to be a part of the ballroom dancing world. ...read more.

Middle

The studios are metaphoric for the suppression of individuality whilst the outdoors gives Scott individual freedom, something he desperately craves. Like Shirley and Liz, Tally Youngblood similarly craves to belong within a community. Uglies is set in a post-apocalyptic world where 16 year olds receive an operation that transforms their minds and bodies, making them submissive to the city. Being the last one to turn 16 of her friends, Tally craves to belong to ?New Pretty Town? in order to stifle her feelings of alienation and isolation. As Tally breaks into the city she does not belong to, she describes herself as ?an infiltrator, a sneak, an ugly?. This use of emotive language highlights her desire to belong to this new world, as the only other alternative is to be an outcast. Westerfeld uses the simile ?Tally felt like the last littlie to be picked up from school, abandoned and alone? to exemplify the negative impact not belonging has on the human spirit. As the story progresses, Tally?s desire to belong to the city turns into a desire to run away as she flees to a rebel group called ?The Smoke? who live in the wilderness. ...read more.

Conclusion

Laurie?s friend Alex walks into a classroom Laurie hides in to avoid ?The Wave? and exclaims ?looks like I stumbled into Anne Frank?s attic?. This literary allusion to Anne Frank suggests Laurie?s desire to not belong The Wave is paralleled to that of the Jewish attitude to the Nazis during the holocaust. She calls the members of the group ?little Nazis?, an analogy with negative connotations that alludes to her distaste towards the group. Rhue uses the simile ?everybody?s going along with it like a flock of sheep? to highlight the lack of individuality experienced within the group that it reduces its members to a heard. Although The Wave was initially beneficial to its members as it offered security through a sense of belonging, it ultimately became damaging to the member?s individuality. The human spirit universally craves a sense of security and fulfillment. Belonging to a group, community or world may provide this to the individual to a certain extent. However, the sense of belonging a group offers may be conditional, resulting in a lack of individuality and personal freedom. Therefore, the human spirit may also crave not to belong to a particular group in order to preserve this. Strictly Ballroom, Uglies and The Wave all explore the duality of belonging, illuminating how a desire to belong can be just as strong as the craving not to. ...read more.

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