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Belonging In Shawshank REdemption and Jasper Jones university essay help Religion and Theology assignment help

‘Belonging to a group or community has a significant impact on an individual’s sense of self. ’ Discuss this statement, referring to your PRESCRIBED TEXT and ONE related text of your own choosing. One of the ways in which individuals establish their sense of self is determined by the affiliations they choose, and the groups with which they create connections. An individual may be said to have a strong sense of self if they have a clear notion of their purpose and direction as they move forward through life, as well as a sense of who they are and what they stand for.

Through his collection of poems entitled Immigrant Chronicle, Peter Skrzynecki explores the extent to which a lack of belonging has had a damaging impact on his own sense of self. In his poems ‘Migrant Hostel’ and ‘St Patrick’s College’ he considers how a lack of belonging as a child impacted upon his own sense of purpose, whilst in ‘Ancestors’ he explores the extent to which his connections with family ancestry affect his sense of self-identity.

Likewise, in the film The Shawshank Redemption, director Frank Darabont uses the characters of Brooks Hatlen and Andy Dufresne to explore how it is affiliation with community that creates a strong sense of self. It is through the process of belonging to groups and communities that individuals clarify their sense of purpose and self-identity, thereby creating and shaping their individual sense of self. ‘Migrant Hostel’ is Skrzynecki’s account of his childhood experiences living in a migrant hostel in Parkes, where he and his mother stayed for two years after their arrival from Poland in 1949.

Whilst his father worked in Sydney, he and his Mother found it very difficult to establish any sense of purpose in a place where they did not truly belong. Skrzynecki’s use of non-specific language, describing people in the camp as ‘comings’, ‘goings’, ‘newcomers’ and ‘departures’, highlights just how transient life seemed in the hostel. Day to day living was something over which the ‘Workers for Australia’ had no control; they ‘lived like birds of a passage – / Always sensing a change / In the weather: / Unaware of the season / Whose track we would follow’.

This migratory bird metaphor highlights the confusion experienced by the immigrants who seem aware that they should be doing something but are entirely out-of-tune with the environment into which they have been thrusted. The personified boom gate ‘Pointed in reprimand or shame’ indicates how rejected they seem from mainstream Australian society. In addition, Skrzynecki’s paradoxical description of their ‘lives / That had only begun / Or were dying’ further highlights their confusion: they have no sense of where their lives are heading or whether the experience of emigration is to bring the newfound purpose it promised.

Without a sense of belonging to this community, the immigrants are unable to identify a sense of purpose, and therefore fail to develop any positive sense of self. Skrzynecki’s exploration of a lack of belonging resulting in purposelessness is developed in ‘St Patrick’s College’, a poem exploring institutional alienation and its harmful effect on an individual’s sense of self. From the beginning of the poem, it is clear that the young Skrzynecki feels no affiliation with his new Catholic school. He describes how from the roof of the secondary school ‘Our Lady watched / With outstretched arms, / Her face overshadowed by clouds’.

To him, the statue of Mary is not having its intended effect: the symbolic inclusiveness of her gesture is corrupted by the pathetic fallacy of the clouds over her face, foreshadowing the fact that the school is unable to welcome and integrate him as it wishes. In fact, his lack of belonging is having a disastrous impact on his sense of self. He describes how he ‘stuck pine needles / Into the motto / On my breast: Luceat Lux Vestra / I thought was a brand of soap’. The self-harm imagery highlights how painful a lack of belonging can be, whilst the pun on ‘Lux’ underscores and ridicules the school’s Latin motto of ‘Let your light shine’.

Skrzynecki’s recollections of learning in the school all seem to highlight his purposeless nature whilst there: for instance, learning to say ‘The Lord’s Prayer / In Latin, all in one breath’ suggests that he was more interested in the personal challenge than the religious content. Without belonging, it seems that life can often appear meaningless, sometimes resulting in dangerous consequences and a corrupted sense of self. The idea that belonging breeds purpose and a strong sense of self is also explored in Frank Darabont’s film The Shawshank Redemption.

In a fascinating sub-plot, the film presents the story of an old criminal, Brooks Hatlen, who is finally released from Shawshank State Penitentiary after many years. Just before his release, a close up shot of Brooks reveals him inside the dark and oppressive prison, symbolically releasing his pet bird Jake into the brightness of the outside world, which foreshadows his own release. This use of chiaroscuro seems to suggest the prison world is an undesirable environment in which to belong, yet for Brooks, his whole sense of self is bound up in this place.

As he enters the outside world, the non-diegetic piano music creates a wistful tone, as does a reverse long shot of Brooks sitting among birds in a park, but unable to communicate with the silhouetted characters in the background. Brooks has been institutionalised, and cannot be forced against his will to belong in a new environment. In the same way that Skrzynecki feels no sense of connection with the ideologies of the migrant hostel and St. Patrick’s College, Brooks does not feel connected to the outside world.

However, whereas Skrzynecki is able to anticipate a brighter future, one in which the ‘darkness’ will disappear and his light will finally ‘shine’, Brooks uses his voiceover to tell the viewer ‘I’ve decided not to stay’, a euphemism for his final act of suicide. For some, a lack of belonging to the community can have a truly disastrous impact upon one’s sense of purpose, resulting in complete disintegration of one’s sense of self. In Skrzynecki’s ‘Ancestors’, the poet explores how connection to one’s ancestry is an essential part of understanding one’s purpose and establishing a sense of self identity.

In a reflection on human identity and the chain of life that links us with our ancestors, Skrzynecki relates a dream in which he perceives a group of ghostly ancestors surrounding him, implying that his connection to his past is perhaps stronger than he acknowledges. Initially, these ancestors seem intimidating, as indicated by the threatening imagery of the ‘bearded, faceless men’ and the sibilance of the phrase ‘Standing shoulder to shoulder’, almost suggesting they are united against him.

This is a poem of questions but few answers; the narrator does not know where they are pointing, or why they do not speak, or why he is unable to determine their identity. On a complex psychological level, the poem explores the fact that Skrzynecki cannot escape his ancestors and their expectations, but is not able to identify what these expectations are. In the final stanza, the dreamer has a taste of what binds him to his family, remarking that ‘The wind taste of blood’, a metaphor for the ancestral connection that they have in common.

The poem highlights how connection to community, in this case a family group, does impact on one’s sense of identity, although in this poem it is unclear whether this connection creates a positive or negative effect. In contrast, The Shawshank Redemption shows how connection to a desired community can have a hugely beneficial effect on self-esteem and self-identity. In the film, the main character Andy Dufresne has been imprisoned for a crime he did not commit, and is exposed to unspeakable horrors whilst imprisoned.

By the end of the film, the viewer is manipulated to believe that, like Brooks Hatlen, his lack of belonging is having such a negative impact on his sense of self that he is contemplating suicide. Unlike the persona in ‘Ancestors’, it seems that he is unable to cling to any sense of family or ancestry that makes life bearable. However, in a powerful finale, the film reveals his magnificent and timely escape. In the voiceover, the narrator reveals the fact that ‘Andy crawled to freedom through five-hundred yards of shit-smelling foulness I can’t even imagine’.

The use of the personal perspective and the belittling verb ‘crawled’ conveys just how important escape is for Andy, in terms of his own sense of self. When he finally emerges from the refuse pipe, the image is symbolic of deliverance and re-birth, suggesting that he has been born again into a world where he truly belongs. As he removes his prison clothes, which symbolise the world he has left behind, the camera reverse pans to a high angle shot, depicting Andy’s arms outstretched as he celebrates his renewed self-identity.

For Andy, re-connection with the world is an epiphanaic moment, a moment of great significance. In contrast to ‘Ancestors’, where Skrzynecki is never quite able to forge a connection with his past, Andy fundamentally connects with the community of life, and in doing so re-discovers, once again, who he truly is. It is through the process of belonging to groups and communities that individuals discover their sense of self, finding a purpose for their lives and understanding who they are. In ‘Migrant Hostel’, ‘St Patrick’s College’, and the story of Brooks Hatlen, a lack of belonging can lead to a

dangerously purposeless life, where an individual’s sense of self can be seriously damaged. However, in ‘Ancestors’ it is clear that connection to one’s community can at least provide the beginnings of a stronger sense of self whereas, through the story of Andy Dufresne in the film The Shawshank Redemption, the viewer is led to appreciate the inspiring re-discovery of self that comes with a sense of belonging. It is through experiencing connection to groups or communities that individuals, to different degrees, come to affirm their self-identity and forge a new sense of direction through life.

Answer the following questions accoring to Blackrock and Morgan Stanley’s annul reports (attached)

Questions in bold are worth in the aggregate 75% of the total score

What is management’s compensation? How does it compare with the previous 2 years? Is overall compensation in line with the company’s performance?
Please perform a common size balance sheet analysis for both companies for the most recent two FYs. How are they similar? Different? What difference, in your analysis, accounts for any difference income between the companies and why? Internally, how do the balance sheets compare FY to FY? Which company is a better long-term credit risk? Why?
How does each company calculate depreciation/amortization on its long-term assets? How does each account for doubtful/uncollectable receivables?
In what sense are these two companies competitors? Do they compete for the same customers; do they offer the same products/services; are they in the same industry; do they occupy different market niches; do they offer two different solutions to the same customer need or desire? What advantages/disadvantages does each company see relative to the other and to the overall competitive environment?
Please review the accounting policies section of the notes to the financial statements and describe how the companies differ in their financial reporting practices.

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