Belonging - Romulus My Father / Further Arrivals

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  • Topic: Raimond Gaita, Margaret Atwood, Individual
  • Pages : 4 (1513 words )
  • Download(s) : 248
  • Published : March 12, 2011
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A person's identity is quite often reflected and shaped through one’s own personal understanding of where they belong in a social society. A sense of belonging is usually driven by the external and internal factors that occupy around them. In our quest to belong we will experience both opportunities and disappointments. It can be both a self-fulfilling and self-destructive part of life. Furthermore it relies on conformity and individuality, yet the bigger the group, the smaller the individuality. Raimond Gaita's biographical memoir "Romulus, My Father" and Margaret Atwood's poem "Further Arrivals" clearly demonstrate similar concepts of how a person’s sense of belonging shapes their identity. Both of the texts have a strong emphasis on place and setting through the use of imagery and symbolism and both use the harsh Australian immigration of European foreigners to convey the fact that, from suffering, wisdom is gained. “Despite an individual's desire to belong to a group or community, this is not always possible.” An individual's concept or opinion of belonging may differ and cause debate, however inevitably belonging is an instinctive human need in all of us.

In the beautifully constructed prose “Romulus, My Father,” Gaita explores the impact of immigration within his family, their sense of displacement and the quest of understanding their sense of place within society, ultimately building valued identities. Our own individual understanding of our self through adversity is also poetically conveyed through Margaret Atwood’s “Further Arrivals”. This poem seeks to convey the notion of difficulty of the immigrant experience, from displacement to the path of understanding one’s self in foreign surroundings. Both composers seek to convey the difficulty of assimilation and coping with change, subsequently exposes that the path to understanding one’s self is forged by a desire to belong.

The autobiographical nature of Raimond Gaita’s “Romulus, My Father” offers...
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