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Families Come In Many Shapes and Sizes

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Families come in many shapes and sizes. No two families are alike. It doesn't matter if there's a mother a father and two children, or simply, a single mum with three kids. What matters are the interactions between each other and the world around us that can either enrich or limit our personal experience of belonging!

For me, my family represents both negative and positive moments. There are bad days and there are good days. Days where I hate everything about they make me feel that I don't belong anywhere in this world! More importantly there are good days, where my family makes me feel at peace, excepted, normal...loved for who I am!

Good morning class and teachers

In my speech today, I will be discussing the text 'Swallow the Air' by Tara June Winch and 'The Blind Side' directed by John Lee Hancock.

Both of these texts demonstrate the results of how family and the world around an individual can either enrich or limit their sense of belonging. Without a positive sense of belonging, it becomes increasing difficult for an individual to be seen to conform to society's view of 'normal' let alone develop their own true sense of identity, a place where they can feel safe, a place where they belong!

In the opening chapters of 'Swallow the Air' you become aware that May's family life is unstable and dysfunctional.

Winch evoked a visual picture in the readers mind by using descriptive language which enabled the reader to feel empathy for May's mum; through the quotes 'head sick' and 'her sad emerald eyes bled through her black canvas and tortured willow hair. She had a face that only smiled in photographs'. Winch was successful in using these techniques to show that May's mum suffered from mental illness and lead a very sad and hard life.

As Winch further develops the story it is implied to the reader that in the beginning May and her brother, were just normal carefree children going about their everyday life, fishing and enjoying the world they lived in.

Despite their mother's mental health issues, they belonged to her and they belonged in their world. Until the day it came crashing around them and their strongest family bond was broken. Their mother dies. This marked the beginning of their downward spiral.

In the chapter 'Cloud Busting', after the realization sets in that their world has been limited...changed for the worst, Winch uses the technique of flashback, to depict May escaping back to a happy place, a place she felt she belonged. A place where May felt safe normal and enriched.

Through the repetition of the word 'we', Winch emphasizes May's sense of belonging. It wasn't just her alone in the world. Also, by using the metaphor 'drunk on the salt air and laughter' Winch implies a carefree and fun world that both May and her brother enjoyed.

The author reinforces the importance of this memory to May, by talking in the present



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