Belonging Is Imposed from Without Rather Than From Within: Comparing "In the Park" and "Room" 11th Grade

Individuals who have experienced an unconventional or life-altering event will inevitably face the judgments of broader society, hence dictating whether such individuals feel a truly valid sense of belonging. This concept of the significance of exterior factors on one's sense of belonging is portrayed through the novel Room written by Emma Donoghue and Gwen Harwood’s poem 'In the Park'. In its descriptions, 'In the Park' effectively captures the underlying themes of the consequences of motherhood such as a degraded social status and alienation within both personal and societal context. Similarly, Room proposes the hardship of independently raising a child under unordinary circumstances only to be critiqued by the broader society. Both texts emphasize on a mother's seemingly ephemeral lifetime of fitting in until childbirth, where they are obligated under societal expectations to sacrifice time, personal leisure and factors which once allowed them to belong to the world.

The poem 'In the Park' features the idea of a mother withdrawn from 'societal norms' to tend to her children. The mother’s “unkempt state” and struggle to adhere with the role of family is conveyed within the phrase “Her clothes are out of date” alongside...

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