Belonging Essay

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Belonging is the acceptance, fulfillment and connection in association to people, society, culture and the surrounding landscape. It is the physical, yet more importantly the psychological feeling of attachment. By understanding the landscape, society and family one comes from a sense of belonging may be nourished. This portrayal of belonging is evident in Romulus, My Father, (1998) by Raimond Gaita, Edward Scissorhands, (1990), directed by Tim Burton and Mao’s Last Dancer (2009) directed by Bruce Beresford. These texts emphasize the importance of understanding in order to nourish a sense of belonging within a certain landscape, society, culture and family.

From birth an instant connection within families is established. This bond is evident through the relationship of Raimond and Romulus, who are bonded through unconditional love strengthened through the absence of a motherly figure. “I had absorbed my fathers attitude to the countryside”. Gaita claims that belonging can occur by metaphorically absorbing the ideas and values of others. As Raimond matures, he eventually comes to the understanding that he is different to his father, “My fathers Old Testament integrity was partly a function of his blindness”. Through the use of a biblical illusion, Raimond is able to detach himself from his father, giving him the freedom to assert his own values and ideas. It is through a basic understanding of families and attachments to others, that sense of belonging can be nourished.

Similarly in Edward Scissorhands, a father son like relationship is formed. This relationship creates a sense of belonging between Edward and his inventor. Through the use of flashbacks, a sense of attachment is created between Edward and his inventor, as the inventor aims to build Edwards understanding of ‘life’.

Migrants from the post world war II period were encouraged to come to Australia, yet they were not always welcomed by locals, often being judged against stereotypes. Christine...
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