Belonging is a multi-faceted concept that involves intrinsic aspects of human nature that are reliant on the individual’s life-long bond with various social, political and interpersonal relationships. Belonging is also fundamental in shaping an individual’s core values and identity, thus it is central to the human condition. A sense of belonging is developed through strong relationships over time is explored in Steven Herrick’s novel ‘The Simple Gift’ and Armin Greder’s picture book ‘The Island’. In The Simple Gift we see how an individual’s interaction with others can lead to a sense of belonging.
Sharing common values and discontent with their family life enable the three protagonists to bond because of their shared experience of loss and deprivation. Billy Luckett, Catlin Holmes and Old Bill are all escaping the emotional and psychological pain associated with their respective families and as a result all three characters become alienated and is connected through this shared negative experiences.