What is the theme of "belonging" and which texts best illustrate this theme?

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The theme of belonging is one found, most typically, in adolescent literature. Given that many tees are trying to find their place and their identity, this theme is very popular in literature geared towards this group.

The theme is grounded in situtations which surround alientaiton, bullying, estrangement, and internal weakness. That being said, the novels examine situations which speak to common issues that teens face.

Outside of the adolescent group, other novels meant for adults deal with the same theme of finding a place for one's self.

There are many novels which approach this them. Typically the novels deal with one problem so as to flush out the concept completely for the reader; other times, many issues are raised so as to define the existence of multiple problems one faces in life and how to overcome them when one feels overwhelmed.

A list of novels which contain the theme of belonging are:

1. Of Mice and Men- Steinbeck: This story speaks to the journey of two men who are looking for their place in the world.

2. Speak- Anderson: This story is the about a high school girl looking to find her place after being raped.

3. Twisted- Anderson: This novel is about a high school boy looking for his true place in life by being "bad."

4. Monster- Myers: This novel is about a boy who is charged with murder and trying to find out his place in the world given all others are judging him based upon the fact he has been charged with a murder. He feels as if he does not belong in the world given all see him as a monster.

5. The Uglies series- Westerfeld: These novels are about girls turning 16 and becoming pretty. The theme comes from the fact that it takes a very specific period in a girl's life to belong.

6. The Awakening- Chopin: A story of a woman searching for herself and her place in the world.

7. "Desiree's Baby" (short story)- Chopin: The story of an adopted girl who has grown, married, and had a child. Desiree becomes an outcast and feels as if she has no other choice but to remove herself from society.

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