Belonging: Family and Identity

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Belonging has been said to shape our identity. How does our sense of belonging shape who we are as individuals. Belonging is an inevitable part of life, and its presence in many shapes and forms, defines and moulds one’s character and identity. Since belonging emerges from the connections made with people, places and things; these links allow ideas and perspectives to be shared and new interests to be formed. As a child or adult these are absorbed due to the mutual respect present in such a relationship, and taken out in their life, thus shaping their identity. However, in some situations the strong connection present can restrict one’s exploration of the world and therefore restrict the development of an identity. These ideas are illustrated in the biography Romulus, My Father by Raimond Gaita, the film The Blind Side directed by John Hancock and the poem ’Dermott’ by Colin Thiele. Family is one of the strongest sources of belonging that can be found and they act as the most supreme provider of ideas and morals from which one can base their life upon or form their identity on. In Romulus my father, Raimond’s relationship with his father is very important in Raimond’s development as he says; ‘I know what a good workman is. I know what friendship is. I know what honesty is. I know these things because I saw them in my father’. The biographical format and the use of present tense here as he repeats the words; ‘I know’, emphasizes how even with a long period of time, this relationship has impacted Raimond’s life until adulthood, shaping his identity and his way of looking upon life. It is this relationship that Raimond shares with his father that allows him to possess the inner self confidence which he uses to venture out into the surrounding areas. This decision to venture out is also based upon him wanting to be like the other farm boys as ‘I was the only one who did not kill rabbits’, highlighting his desire to...
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