Belonging Romulus My Father

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How has the concept of belonging been represented in Romulus and at least one related text?

Have you ever felt like you would never be accepted? Like you wouldn’t belong? A sense of belonging can come from connections made with people, places, groups, communities and the larger world. These connections are evident in the memoir Romulus My Father by Raimond Gaita and the novel Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. The perceptions of belonging in these texts are shaped by the detachment or connections made with people, culture and landscape in a historical context. Aspects of belonging may be considered in terms of experiences of identity, notions of identity, relationships, acceptance and understanding.

Throughout Raimond Gaita’s memoir Romulus My Father it reveals how one person can feel completely isolated from a place whilst another can feel the complete opposite. This was shown through the contrast of the two characters of Romulus himself and his wife, Christine. The contrast between the two is apparent in the quote “My fathers devoted care of me contrasted obviously with her neglect and this fuelled the hostility towards her”. This quote also shows the dislike that the people in the community had for Christine because of her lack of commitment to the family and responsibilities like her motherly duties.

Gaita uses vivid imagery to describe Christine’s alienation within the landscape when he says “I first saw her when she was two hundred metres or so from the house, alone, small, frail, walking with an uncertain gait and distracted air.” Using the adjectives, alone, small and frail also give us a haunting description of how Christine is on the inside and how she feels in this environment. The struggle Christine felt trying to fit in is also the cause of her mental illness. This is shown in the quote “she could not settle in a dilapidated farmhouse in a landscape that highlighted her isolation. She longed for company.”

Romulus himself also felt...
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