As You Like It and Related Texts
I cannot give you a definition for belonging or alienation. In my eyes, you cannot find the definition for a general population and you cannot tell someone else the definition. To belong is something that is personal and is hard to find, but when u have finally found that definition and that place in which you belong. You know it! As for me Belonging is when u feel that you??™re in the right place at the right time. That life couldn??™t get better from what it is at this very moment. Belonging is when you can jump around, make a fool of yourself and still feel accepted and not judged. While most people crave the feeling of belonging, almost to the extent as if it is an essential. There is also the other side of the fence where people don??™t want that feeling and are happy to be alone. They alienate themselves as they are frightened of society its self or simply don??™t want that intimate human connection that others do. These aspects of belonging are represented in the play ???As you like it??? written by William Shakespeare. ???My Sisters Keeper??™ written by Jodi Picoult and ???Go Ask Alice??™ by anonymous.
Act 2 in ???As you like it??™ is in the setting in the Forest of Arden. This is juxtaposed with the courtly setting, where belonging is challenged. This is shown by the use of alliteration from Duke Seniors dialogue. ???Painted pomp??™ and ???envious court??™. This helps to characterize the court as a place of falseness and danger. Emphasizing the fact that the court is somewhere that the characters do not wish to belong and would rather be alienated from. This depicts my personal definition of belong as it shows that some people want to alienate themselves whether it be from society in general or just from a certain place (example, the court). The Forest of Arden therefore restores the character??™s true values and true personal views on belonging.
???We Still Sleep together??¦we have learned, played, and eaten together??™ this is a quote from Celia??™s dialogue directed at Rosalind. It represents a sense of belonging between Rosalind and Celia. Showing how close they have become (as if they were sisters) and that they feel as though they belong together, after the natural disorder was disrupted. This is depicted when Rosalind is banished from the court.
Duke Fredrick??™s harsh dialogue ???And get you from our court.??™ Disrupts what had always seemed natural to the characters. This harsh dialogue also creates a tense atmosphere, emphasizing the seriousness of the situation and the harsh extent to which Rosalind is not wanted and does not belong in the court setting. These harsh words lead her to find where she truly belongs, in the Forest of Arden.
Orlando and Oliver??™s senses of belong are both contrasted with each other in the beginning of the play. We are told by Oliver (Orlando??™s brother) in Act 1 Scene 1 that Orlando has been reduced to equal level of a servant, although Orlando is entitled to the same rights as his brother ( who is currently living as though he is a king). This shows Oliver??™s sense of power and belonging but is heavily contrasted with Orlando??™s alienation and portrayal from his brother. Orlando??™s forceful dialogue ???I will no longer endure it??™ portrays to the audience that Orlando has had enough, and needs his own sense of belonging. Here his is banished from the Court but finds his true home (or place in which he belongs) in the Forest of Arden.
???My Sister??™s Keeper??™ is a novel by Jodi Picoult. It is about the life of Anna. A thirteen year old girl who was genetically engineered to save her sisters life. From seconds after she was born Anna has had numerous amounts of procedures to save her sisters life. The novel shows Anna??™s deepest feelings about what she is being told to do, as she struggles to find a way to belong within the community.
In ???My Sisters Keeper??™ Jodi Picoult writes each chapter from the different perspectives of each character. This helps to slowly feed the reader information only giving sections of the story until everything finally comes together at the end. This depicts the feeling that the reader belongs in the book as we are carried through the story with emotive language and descriptive words.
???As we got older, I didn??™t seem to exist??¦.except in relation to her??™. ???Her??™ referrs to Anna??™s sister Kate who has leukemia. This shows Anna??™s alienation from everyone around her. She feels as though she is almost invisible on her own. That nothing she does is good enough and she is basically nothing without her sister. Anna is the type that needs that feeling of belonging, but she is only seen and accepted when she is mentioned in relation to her sister. So although Anna belongs in her sister??™s life, she has been alienated from the rest of the world.
Anna??™s feelings of alienation force her to sell her precious belongings to afford to pay for a lawyer. She uses the lawyer to sue her parents for the rights to her own body, so she can retrieve some independence and hopefully slowly gain some normality back into her life. Although it??™s not that easy. Just before Anna made this decision her sister Kate had another relapse and was in desperate need of a kidney which Anna was being told she was going to have to give to her. Anna is then forced to make the decision, to gain independence and finally belong in a normal community or to be the cause of her sister??™s death.
The reality of what Anna is doing spirals her family through mixed feelings. Do they support Anna??™s feeling and respect the fact that she has simply had enough Or do they do what every parent seems to have built in To protect their child at any cost
Anna is pushed and shoved around between what decisions to make and whether or not she is making the right one. In one of the court hearings we find that Kate (Anna??™s sick sister) was the one that asked Anna to file the case and to not give her the kidney. This throws a whole new perspective on the book showing us Kate??™s emotional pain as we see her relate to her sister??™s neediness to belong. Kate understands that she will die without her sister. She is grateful for her help as she has provided her with the ultimate gift.
The gift to belong in the World for sixteen years. A world that without Anna she would have been Alienated from and pushed out away from everything and everyone.
This brings me back to Jodi Picoults techniques used as she slowly feeds us information. At first we feel for Anna who is making one of the hardest decisions a person can make, she is choosing to belong over her sister??™s life. Although this sounds harsh it also portrays the fact that belonging is really something that is essential to humans. We are then moved to Kate??™s perspective who has asked Anna to make this harsh decision. Kates perspective shows the readers that Kate has been given the opportunity to be accepted by the world but with the harsh consequence of taking that basic human right from her sister.
???Go ask Alice??™ is a diary from the 1980??™s set in Europe. It is the diary of a 13 year old girl. With the duration of two and a half years it takes us through the journey of her life as she struggles with the normal everyday teenage troubles. Battling with the longing feeling to belong she faces the temptation of drugs, sex, alcohol and peer pressure.
The book is a true story and is written in diary entries. Both these aspects create emotion and feeling throughout the diary helping the readers relate to the book. In my eyes it relates to mothers especially. As I mentioned earlier it is a mother??™s natural instinct to do anything they can to protect and save the life and soul of their child. ???Go Ask Alice??™ shows how a straight A student who seems to have no problems can slip between the cracks and become drug addicted 13 year old whom is an alcoholic, all while the people closest to her have no idea anything has even changed.
???Alice??™ the given name to the girl in the book is pushed over the edge as she is force into drugs by peer pressure. At first it starts as a social thing. Life seems to be going great for her as she finally feels as though she belongs. She is popular and finally wanted instead of being pushed away and alienated from her friends. But being popular had its consequences for Alice, as her relationship and acceptance with her friends grew, her relationship with her mother desceq nded as she pushed the one person that was always there for her, out of her life.
All three texts have shown me that belonging is essential and vital in your life. That you can be alienated by people who seem to be the closest to you. It has also revealed that although belonging is essential, it is also crucial that you find the right place to be and the right place in which you belong. For instance Alice did not belong in the drug filled environment that she was in and in turn she pushed away those in which she truly belonged with. Her family. I have also seen through Orlando saving his brother??™s life, Kate saving her sister??™s humanity and the fact that Alice pushed her mother out of her life. That family is a vital key to belonging and that no matter what happens, you will always belong in the lives of your loved ones and that they will be there for you through hard, easy, thick and thin.