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In Margaret Atwood’s free verse poem, ‘The Immigrants,’ belonging is often conveyed by its absence. The people moving to the new world are constantly in motion, searching for a place they can settle down. Their image of settling involves property, stability, possessions and homes like the ones they left, as well as community and prosperity. But due to being poor and foreign and in motion they have none of these. Their old homes have changed and so are they, and so they can no longer belong to the old world. The speaker is probably Canadian and reflecting on the fact that both Anglophone and Francophone Canadians are all immigrants or descendants of immigrants as well (the First Nations were here first!) and of course all humans are eventually immigrants in the natural world.
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