Our upbringing creates a powerful formation that influences our sense of belonging. The story “Simple Gift” written by Steven Herrick reminds us about the concept of upbringing and how it influenced our sense of belonging. Steve Herrick poetry book targets young people who struggle to cope with life challenges. The book tells the story of a homeless boy who struggles to find a place he was truly belonging. Billy runs away from his abusive father and lives in an abandoned railway carriage. He meets other people like the homeless man, and they start developing an understanding of the nature of belonging. He also meets other young people with similar experience who are struggling to cope with life.
For young people, having a sense of identity can be complex because it requires developing an identity and connecting to the greater world. Individual choices can either help him embrace or resist the challenging world based on our experiences and the consequences of these experiences, hence affecting our sense of self-worth and the ability to develop trusting relationships. Genuine relationships and the connection with physical environment can influence our response that can encourage us to embrace the challenge of belonging by offering the physical security and acceptance.
Steve Herrick’s story the simple gift reveals that regardless of the response of an individual to the challenges faced in trying to develop a sense of identity, there is an inherent desire to be accepted and to be understood. Therefore, our upbringing has a powerful way of influence in our future experiences hence influence how we respond to life challenges. In his book, Steve Herrick uses metaphors such as; rain hits you in the face with the force of a father punch, to create a similarity that reveals the abusive nature of the main character Billy.
The author uses different symbolisms like cold, wet weather as metaphors to express the despair and the levels of isolation that was created by the abusive father as Billy suffered. He uses flashback in the text and imagery of a closing door stating that “and slammed the door on my sporting childhood “these phrases illustrate the levels of ignorance and brutality of Billy father. The author also uses flashback memories to emphasize on the main theme which isolation and having a sense of belonging. In one of the statements, he states, “I was ten years old to show the continuous process of abuse that stemmed from Billy’s childhood.
These experiences influence Billy’s choice because he resist the challenges of belonging which is presented using metaphors the author states that “that me on the deserted island of a soft lounge “. Billy’s inherent desire to belong is apparent throughout the story. However, there is a lack of connection to the surrounding physical environment as he feels insecure causing him to resist the challenge of belonging.
The story is interesting because it shows the changes using three main characters to build a complete understanding of the process of belonging to the target audience. Using the story the simple gift, Steve Herrick demonstrates lack of purpose and worth using his main characters from Billy and old Bill. Lack of identity and connection is revealed through the Old Bill, who wants to escape from life challenges of avoiding reality but faces challenges of belonging in the process. The simple gift reveals complexities involved, including the inner and outer factors that can have a vast influence over an individual response to life challenges. The author reminds us of the importance examining the influence of an individual upbringing and the connection shared with the physical environment.
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