‘An individual’s sense of belonging can emerge from the connections made with people, places, groups, communities or the larger world.’
The need to be accepted and please those who know us is an intrinsic part of human nature. For many, this craving to ‘fit in’ is forever accompanied by the fear of displeasing and in turn being rejected by that which we are a part of, whether that be place, people or groups with shared ideas. So too are the connections we make with people, places, groups, communities or the larger world essential to achieve an individual’s sense of belonging; the sense of acceptance that signifies us as humans and is intrinsic to our growth as individuals. The idea that belonging comes from a series of connections made with the world outside our own self is a theme throughout Romulus, My Father, a memoir written by Raimond Gaita about his immigrant father, and the poem We Are Going by Oodgeroo Noonuccal which illustrates the pain and loss felt by the Australian Aboriginals when their land was taken.
The memoir Romulus, My Father written by Raimond Gaita follows Gaita’s father, Romulus, as he experiences life in Australia and issues such as belonging to family and land. The family home of Frogmore was a house secluded and surrounded by the harsh and confronting Australian landscape. Gaita uses striking imagery to connect with the reader so that he can communicate how Christine, Raimond’s mother, never belonged or felt comfortable in a “landscape that highlighted her isolation”. In contrast however, Raimond wrote that, “the landscape seemed to have a special beauty… the experience transformed my sense of life and the countryside, adding both a sense of transcendence”, revealing that he joyously accepted the Australian landscape. These differing views between mother and son are another way that the estranged relationship between Christine and Raimond is emphasised, a state further increased by Christine’s mental illness....