Belonging Romulus

Topics: Identity, Perception, Culture Pages: 6 (1426 words) Published: March 12, 2013
AOS concepts:
* How Gaita’s choice of language, imagery and relation biography genre convey meaning about the concept of belong and shape your response. * How his choices have been influenced by his strong sense of belonging to his father, his alienation form his mother, his coming to terms with his relationships and his sense of self * How Gaita represents belonging through representations of people, their relationships, ideas, the landscape, events and society’s response. * How his assumptions about belonging have influenced his representation. * How the individuals’ perceptions of belonging or not belonging in the biography can vary and are shaped by his or her personal, cultural, historical and social context. * How you perceive the world through Romulus my father and related texts * Perception refers to the interplay of recognition and is influenced by our preconceived ideas, memories, experiences and senses. It can alter and even distort how we view the notion of belonging. * How Gaita’s and you perspectives are shaped by personal, cultural, historical and social contexts * Child of migrants

* Mental illness
* A difficult and fraught childhood
* Professor or moral philosophy
* The connections between texts through the concept of belonging * Compare and contrast
* Connect through the thesis or line of argument

Aspects of belonging:
* The potential of the individual to enrich or challenge a community or group: Christine, Lydia, Hora * Represent choices not to belong, or barriers which prevent belonging: mental illness, attitudes, values * The way attitudes to belonging are modified over time:

* Romulus becomes more detached and isolated after his experiences with women * Christine realizes what she has lost
* Gaita detaches form his mother

My personal response:
* The possibilities presented by a sense of belonging to or exclusion form the text and the world it represents (PERSONAL CONTEXT) * May be influenced by the different ways perspectives are given voice in or are absent from a text – Christine?

* Relational biography using the outward-turning form of the memoir to focus on the author’s parents, and in particular on the figure of his father. * “I thought of it as a tragic poem”
* Spare, stripped-down prose – not over descriptive
* Economical use of language

Barriers which prevent belonging:
* The Australian landscape is an evocative metaphor for belonging, identity and alienation * “Although the landscape is one of rare beauty, to a European or English eye it seems desolate, and even after more than forty years my father could not become reconciled to it. “ * pg 23 – landscape

* pg 169- prisoner
* “When she was two hundred metres or so from the house, alone, small, frail, walking with an uncertain gait and distracted air. In that vast landscape with only crude wire fences and a rough track to mark a human impression on it she appeared forsaken.” * “For the first time in my life I was really alive to beauty…” *

* Europe and the migrants are in dislocation. They are physically and mentally imprisoned in this remote, foreign land and the Australian landscape conflicts with their European sensibility. * “Those were the days before multiculturalism-immigrants were tolerated, but seldom accorded the respect they deserved.”

* The migrant experience:
* Labour camps, split families, an alien way of life, trying to fit in * Prejudice and racism
* Language barriers
* “As soon as my father arrived at the camp…he asked…whether there were any other Romanians.” * “A troubled, intense, passionate and cultured city girl from Central Europe, she showed from the beginning signs of a psychological illness that would prove tragic. It was foolish for my father and me to hope that she could settle in a derelict farmhouse in a harsh landscape...
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