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When Heaven Fall

Essay by   •  November 24, 2016  •  Book/Movie Report  •  702 Words (3 Pages)  •  438 Views

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               Good morning everyone, thank you ABC radio for inviting me to speak today. Carolyn Marsden’s novel, ‘When Heaven Fell’ teaches students in Senior high school about the concept of belonging. It is through the main characters; Binh and Di where Marsden evokes multiple themes of belonging such as; the importance of acceptance within a community or group and the way individuals interactions with other and the world around them can enrich their experience of belonging.

               Marsden’s novel ‘When Heaven Fell’ conveys that belonging depends on your acceptance within a community or group. This is strongly portrayed through Binh’s life as her family couldn’t afford her school uniform fee. She had to earn money by selling fruits and soda instead. Once she saw girls wearing  school uniforms coming to buy fruit. Binh put lowered her hat over her face. Now, why would she feel the need to hide her face from these girls? Well, it’s because she felt humiliated that she couldn’t go to school and felt disassociated from them, as if she didn't belong. As whenever those school children came close, Binh lowered her eyes.  As for Binh” School sounds like a huge doorway to the world, a doorway though which Binh longed to walk.” This  simile  of a huge doorway creates the imagery of exclusion , as she is unable to gain access to  education because of her poverty. This sense of not belonging to the school results in Binh’s desire to work hard for money so that she can go to school and become apart of this world of  education which leads to a better life. However, when her aunty Di supported her to go to school, Binh asked Di a question: “ Do I really belong here?” This enhances Binh’s sense of exclusion and concern about  her transitions from being excluded from the world of education to be included. Thus the reason why I believe Senior high school students should study ‘When Heaven Fell’ as it emphasizes the importance of education, and the sense of belonging to school from exclusion to be inclusion.

                Furthermore, individual’s interactions with others and the world around them can enrich experience of belonging. ‘When Heaven Fell’ conveys the growth in Binh’s sense of belonging to Vietnam as Di took Binh on a journey to the beach. When they wandered into a shop near the beach, Di selected a dress for Binh to change into. Binh  looked at “The pattern on the green silk was like soft clouds.” The simile of comparing the soft clouds to the silk, conveys a sense of appreciation that Binh starts to form for Vietnam, as  this is further enhanced when she also said “It wasn’t American .But it was so lovely…” Binh was seen to start to pull away from her  desire to travel to America, as her interaction with Vietnam outside of her village, helped her appreciate the beauty and feel a sense of pride and belonging to the country. This is definitely one of many reasons why Senior high school students should study ‘When Heaven Fell’ because it teaches students to appreciate their culture, which will enrich their sense of belonging to the place where they live .



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