“An individual’s interaction with others and the world around them can enrich or limit their experience of belonging”
Belonging is a concept universal to humans and is essential aspect of people’s lives. An individuals experience of belong could be both enriched and limited from their interaction with the world around them. The memoir Romulus, My Father, written by Raimond Gaita and the graphic novel by Shaun Tan, The Arrival both incorporate prominent aspects of the concept of belonging. Through their representation of various elements in the text, ideas about family unity and the sense of connectedness with the environment both show how the experience of belonging is enriched, yet limited to a certain extent.
Through the interaction between Raimond and his father, Romulus, a sense of family relationship is established in Gaita’s memoir. The moral and ethical values of Romulus along with the innocuous nature of Raimond enforce the importance of a strong family unit. “I know what an honest man is; I know what friendship is I know because I remember these things in the person of my father”. This repetition of the word ‘I’ in the statement reinforces the strong connection, both morally and spiritually between father and son. It accentuates the enriched sense of belonging experienced by Raimond through his interaction with his father. However, limitations in their sense of belonging are also portrayed by Gaita in his text. “My father’s vulnerability changed my attitude to Frogmore. In his sighs I heard our isolation and for the first time I felt estranged from the area”. Here, the fractured bond between Raimond and Romulus is show. Frogmore has somewhat become a symbol of their family unity and with his father now “falling into insanity”, Raimond begins to feel isolated from the area. This elucidates how a weak family unity detracts his belonging to the surrounding, highlighting the limitations of belonging in a foreign environment without the essential...
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