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The China Coin

The china coin by Allan Baillie greatly supports the idea that relationship and
experiences shape an individuals sense of belonging. Belonging is defined as
acceptance and interconnection through relation with people or place.
Individuals sense of belonging can vary with new experiences and relationships.
Leahs regular experience in China and progressing relationship with her mum
enriches her sense of belonging.
In the beginning of the novel, Leah feels she was not Chinese, not even an ABC
Australian Born Chinese. The use of repetition of Chinese implies Leah didnt
accept her identity of being Chinese and her connection with China. For Joan the
coin was the key to a lost family but Leah thought Let Joan find her family. She
was going for Dad. The use of name Joan by Leah clearly outlined that she
didnt appreciate her mother and didnt have close relationship with her mother.
The use of Her family highlights she didnt even accept her mothers family as
her. Leah and Joan mentally didnt understand each other and didnt have close
affiliation of mother and daughter. This is displayed through Leah and Joan
having very different reasons for going to China. The Half Coin was pulling both
of them into China. Separately The use of Fractural sentence emphasises the
meaning of separately as two characters although physically together, have very
different motivating factors in going to China. This further displays the
disconnection in the relationship.
As the novel progress Leahs regular experiences in China brings her closer to
her mother and strengthen their relationship. Mum knows Chinese to speak,
but she doesnt know much about how to write it. This dialogue represents that
Leah started appreciating and respecting her mother as she started calling her
from Joan to Mum. Furthermore, the repetition of know implies Leahs
experiences with her mother provided her knowledge about Joans capability in
terms of Chinese language which highlights Leah started understanding her
mothers strength and weakness, shows she became mentally close to her mum
by understanding her. Moreover, For the first time Leah was thinking of Joans
family as her family. The use of repetition of family communicates the idea that
Leah has started feeling a sense of belonging to her mothers extended family.
This demonstrates Leah has started connecting with her mother by accepting her
mums family as her family.
Experiences have the power to enhance and fix the relationship. In the end of
the novel, Leahs experiences ingrained and extended her relationship with her
mum. Joan puts her free arm around Leah and crushed the girl into her side.
This represents eventually Joan and Leah got mentally and physically closer as
mother and daughter. Eventually Leahs attitude towards china and her identity
modified dramatically. She even started understanding and accepting Chinese
heritage by being member of Chinese family. In addition Leah referred to herself
as Zhu Leah in the end of the novel which emphasises she started feeling sense
of belonging to Chinese culture.

A sense of belonging is strongly influenced by experiences and


relationship. Individual acceptance and interconnection can enrich
sense of belonging. Belonging plays vital role in defining Individuals
identity.