The Simple Gift shows how much people need to belong. Billy is only 15 when he runs away from home. He finds a place to stay temporarily in Bendarat, but it isn’t long until he realises that Bendarat is a town where he feels he belongs. Billy uses descriptive language to show that he feels he belongs in Bendarat. He says “Bendarat is the perfect town. A friendly librarian, a warm McDonald’s, luxury train accommodation, and the town is surrounded by apple and pear orchids.
The real strength of the feeling of belonging is shown through the character Caitlin. Caitlin has got everything from her wealthy parents that she has ever asked for. It is only until she meets Billy that she realises that there has been something missing from her life, something that money can’t buy. Caitlin describes this feeling after she reads a note Billy had left her, and she says, “I read this and felt something in my stomach, a slight ache, a twinge, and I knew it was hunger but not a hunger for food. And I blushed with the knowledge.” She finds her own sense of belonging with Billy, which makes her happier than she has ever been.
Billy and Caitlin are brought together by their wishes to belong. Although they are opposites in society, this difference means nothing to them.
Arthur is a picture book written by Amanda Graham. In this book Arthur is a dog in a pet store. Arthur desperately wants to belong to a family and not to be stuck in the pet store. He sees many other animals be sold to families, but he just doesn’t get sold. He impersonates the other animals that are being sold as he thinks that this could give him more of a chance of belonging. Arthur is finally bought by a family and he finds himself happier than he has ever been before. Arthur shows how much everyone needs to belong, and how much you would try to belong if you were lonely. He also shows the benefits of belonging through his new found happiness. Arthur is similar to Billy in The Simple Gift as they are both willing to do almost anything to belong and when they do belong they both find themselves happier than they have ever been.
E.T. shows how many differences can be overcome in order to belong. E.T. is an alien that is left behind after travelling to Earth with his friends. He is lonely and scared, and has no idea how he will get home. E.T. meets Elliot and both E.T. and Elliot immediately form a friendship greater than either had felt before. E.T. feels that he doesn’t belong on Earth, but Elliot does everything he can to make E.T. feel like he does belong.
E.T is very similar to Billy in the Simple Gift as he is in a place where he knows nobody, has no home and wishes to belong. Both Billy and E.T. are lonely until they meet someone they both form a strong connection with. Billy finds Caitlin and with Caitlin he feels he belongs. E.T. finds Elliot and he feels he belongs.
In all of these texts, the main characters have been found someone they belong with and a place where they belong. In every case the feeling of belonging has made them happier and made their lives feel more purposeful.