The simple gift by Steven Herrick incorporates many of the key aspects that are related to belonging, and the negative effects of not belonging. His text demonstrates the simple passions of human nature and delves into the concepts of caring, simple kindness and a willingness to look past the exterior and accept a person for who they are. This idea of acceptance is shown clearly in Billy Luckett’s treatment of Old Bill, the homeless man who lives close to him in the train yards.
Luckett’s simple gestures of kindness to the sad old man represent a clear aspect of belonging that is one of the key ideas in the concept of belonging. A sense of belonging is also displayed in Caitlin’s acceptance of Bill when he first appears in the Macdonald’s where she works, this acceptance is returned by Bill himself as he looks past the rich exterior to the person she is in side “and I looked back and saw past the shiny watch and the clean hair and the beautiful woollen over coat. I saw Caitlin, and I liked what I saw”.
The negative effects of exclusion and not belonging can be seen also in his father’s harsh treatment of Bill, this is shown primarily when Bill makes the decision to leave his home and become homeless, showing that due to his exclusion in his own home, he has been forced to seek another place to call home. Belonging and the exclusion felt of not belonging has been incorporated well into Steven Herrick’s novel, the first person narrative voice of Bill, Old Bill and Caitlin all demonstrate what it means to belong, and the in depth feeling of sadness when one does not belong, or is not accepted for who they are.
Bill Luckett is portrayed in this novel as a simple but caring boy who is forced to grow up quickly when he leaves his childhood home. He displays many of the key ideas that make up the concept of belonging, these are shown throughout the novel particularly with his treatment of the old homeless man he calls ‘Old Bill’ who lives in the carriage next to him. In the novel Luckett looks past the exterior of an old, washed out homeless man and sees the man inside. In the morning, too early, I got a bowl, and filled it with weet-bix and milk, and I took it next door, to old bill” this quote demonstrates Billy’s determination to do good and make the old man feel like he is accepted and liked no matter the circumstances. This is followed by the Quote “and I walked away into the fragile morning” this metaphor is used to describe not only the morning, but the Fragile nature of the as yet growing relationship between Old Bill and Luckett.
A sense of Belonging has been used in this scene in regards to Luckett’s acceptance of Old Bill despite the rough exterior shown; this acceptance clearly demonstrates Belonging on a deep level. The relationship that grows between Billy himself and Caitlin the rich young girl who works at the Macdonald’s that Billy regularly eats at is also a demonstration of belonging and people over coming differences and accepting each other. The two people, Billy and Caitlin, are in direct Contrast, Billy is a young homeless boy with very little money or food, whereas Caitlin comes from a rich family with plenty of food and a house.
The relationship between them is clear link to the ideas of acceptance, and by extension, the sense of belonging felt when one is accepted. “I invited her into my carriage and watched her as she saw how I lived. She’s cool. She didn’t sneer or look uncomfortable” this shows that even though her life is completely different to Billy’s, she accepts him for who he is on the inside instead of the exterior of Billy that is portrayed, a homeless young Boy with nothing.
The short sentence of “She’s Cool” represents Billy’s acceptance of Caitlin, it is at this point that he looks past her image of a young girl with a wealthy back ground. The sense of Belonging related to close friendships is portrayed in this relationship; the sense of friendship is an integral part to a person’s sense of belonging. The Negative ramifications that are presented in this text about the idea of belonging are a clear definition of what can come about if a person does not feel like they belong or are excluded from a particular group or place, in this case Billy’s own childhood home.
The sense of Exclusion and sadness that Billy feels in his own home is due to the behaviour exhibited by his father towards Billy, the negative actions such as physical abuse and verbal abuse drives Billy to feel as if he is not appreciated. “Dad came thundering out. He didn’t look up at the damage. He’d heard it. He came over, grabbed the ball and kicked it over the back fence into the bushes, gave me one hard backhander across the face, so hard I fell down, as much in shock as in anything”.
This sense of exclusion that is created by harsh treatment shows how a person can feel excluded and hurt when they are not accepted and not forgiven. When Herrick writes “as much in shock as anything” he shows to the reader that along with the physical pain there was the emotional pain that came with the blow, the pain of denial and unacceptance. This denial of acceptance and forgiveness demonstrates the negative impacts that not belonging can have on a person and how they look at life.
Steven Herrick’s ‘The Simple Gift’ gives a sense of both the good and bad aspects of belonging. It portrays the main character as one who is weighed down by his situation however despite this is not judged by the women he meets by the way he lives; instead he is judged by who he is. This is reflected in the judgement Billy has of Old Bill, this again shows a person looking past the exterior and accepting who they are, giving them a sense of belonging.
It also demonstrates the negative impacts of exclusion, shown in Billy’s treatment by his father, this shows how, if physically and verbally abused for being themselves, a person will withdraw and no longer feel that they belong to that particular place or area. Belonging plays the majority idea in this novel and is represented in all the meetings of the main characters, and the results of the relationships can be linked to society and the feelings related to acceptance and belonging.
critical essay, select a developing country of your choice (other than Saudi Arabia) and discuss its main trade characteristics and trade problems. What trade reforms should the government implement? What would be the role of the IMF and the World Bank in these reforms? What policies should the government pursue to achieve strong economic growth?
Your essay is required to be four to five pages in length, which does not include the title page and reference pages, which are never a part of the content minimum requirements. Support your submission with course material concepts, principles, and theories from the textbook and at least three scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles. Use the Saudi Digital Library to find your resources. Use Saudi Electronic University academic writing standards and follow APA style guidelines. It is strongly encouraged that you submit all assignments into Turnitin prior to submitting them to your instructor for grading. If you are unsure how to submit an assignment into the Originality Check tool, review the Turnitin—Student Guide for step-by-step instructions. Review the grading rubric to see how you will be graded for this assignment.
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