Romulus My Father Notes for Belonging

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* Study Questions
* Chapter 1
1. Romulus has a crisis in identity. He feels he is accepted in society due to his skill in blacksmithing trade. Although accepted, he does not feel he belongs due to his culture and heritage. His character is tied up with a strong moral code, in working hard, pride, communal strength and contributing to society but has no confidence in identity and how he fits in. He “Always considered himself a Romanian.” And felt he belongs to that part of his heritage. He carried this culture through to Australia and keeps these character traits, which could be the reason he is separated socially. He is a religious man that takes education seriously and in the highest regards. He always knew poverty and hard work for the community rather than money, which is why he was able to work so hard as a blacksmith for no pay. This shows his strength of character and good work ethic. He felt attached to Europe and therefore detached from Australia. In retrospect he was accepted by many people due to his hard work but still didn’t ‘belong’. *

2. Retrospective, hard working before and after school. Romulus prides himself on character. The luxury that he didn’t get his son now is able to enjoy. Also not having a childhood because he worked the whole time. Raimond was able to become a writer and enjoy more creative things in life. He had free time where as his father didn’t. His dad grew up with little money and had to work for all the money he needed where as Raimond didn’t have to work as much. Most importantly however, Raimond was able to enjoy a sense of belonging when he was growing up to his father and family. Romulus was unable to enjoy any real sense of belonging whilst growing up. Raymond would not have the same work ethic as his father; His dad thought that everything would revolve around his work. He worked before and after school. Romulus is a pragmatist or a practical man due to his job to get things done. This is because of his lack of childhood he has no humor, etc. Raimond was not made to contribute to the family and community as much as his father. He doesn’t always need to work for money; he came from a communist country so he worked for community. Education was very important to him and becomes apparent through his child. He was a very strong, integrity, incorruptible, non-negotiable, religious and inflexible man. *

3. In ‘retrospect’ or hindsight Raimond is able to show his perspective contrasting to his fathers perspective. “Childhood as we know it” positions the reader to realize that childhood is a small time frame and many do not enjoy it such as his father. It makes people realize how hard times were back then. *

4. The use of past and present tense enables the author to show his perspective of things and relate things to present day situations. This also positions the reader to understand hindsight and retrospectively. *

5. He was a working class opposed to middle class. This is because he is a blacksmith and works hard long hours to get money and gets by with minimalistic things. Romulus believes that she is snobbish and her activities such as going to the theatres were mistakenly snobby. Christine’s parents were able to accept him even though there was a distinct difference in class because of Romulus’ availability to clothes through the black-market. He was able to get food and clothes from the money he made. The money he earned allowed their relationship to be socially acceptable.

* Chapter 2
6. The labels ‘immigrant’, ‘foreigner’ and ‘new Australian’ are used to set a tone of alienation. It creates a clear separation between the Australians and the “Bolts”. Romulus felt no anger or “no resentment or indignation, or any other response which depended on the assumption that he was owed something better.” He was able to reconcile the terms above by having no negative feelings. He also held onto his “young dreams of a...
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