How does not belonging and belonging arise in the immigrant experience? The immigrant experience is a significant journey which encompasses the dynamic process of belonging and not belonging. Whilst a sense of insecurity, fear and rejection emerges from an individual’s inability to integrate into wider society, these emotions can be mitigated by forging meaningful connections to others, thus leading to a sense of social inclusion. Moreover, immigrants who have a sense of self-realisation are the ones that attempt to fix their own problems and succeed. This is exemplified in the texts by Raimond Gatia’s novel, “Romulus, My father”, Adam Elliot’s claymation film “Harvie Krumpet” and Shaun Tan’s graphic storyboard “The arrival” . (UNFINISHED)
“Romulus, My father” asserts how the social isolation and alienation associated with the migrant experience contributes to the development of Christine’s mental illness, which exacerbates the arising family crisis between Romulus and Christine. Although not explicitly referenced in the text, Christine’s middle class Romanian upbringing renders her unable to cope with the drastic changes wrought by migrating to Australia.This dilemma accentuates Raimond’s perspective of his childhood life and his reflection on his choices of belonging and not belonging. Through the further chapters of the Novel, Raimond gains a sense of self realisation which allows him to broaden his scope of the world and make decisions based on his sole observation. The importance of physical connection to one’s identity is prominent in the Character of Christine, who becomes sexually promiscuous to be accepted by other men. This reaction to her mental illness signifies the desperateness to be secure. Raimond’s recollections of his father, notions such as, “I loved him too deeply… no quarrel could estrange us” displays the sense of belonging he feels with his father. This is evident even after Christina dies. He observed, “We came together as son and...
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