Romulus Belonging

Topics: Culture, Identity, Geisha Pages: 5 (1744 words) Published: July 30, 2012
Belonging Essay- Romulus My Father, by Raimond Gaita
(Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden and Acquainted With the Night, by Robert Frost)

Thesis: A persons environment is made up of their physical, cultural and mental landscape, within in this landscape there contains a persons relationships and culture. These elements contribute to their identity and ultimately affirm a sense of self and belonging. When one experiences change to their environment, perspectives are challenged and one must establish a new sense of belonging within their new environment. In the memoir Romulus My Father by Raimond Gaita and the texts Memoirs of a Geisha, by Arthur Golden and Acquainted with the Night, by Robert Frost, new environments effect their sense of belonging by challenging the characters relationships within families and friendships as well as their cultural identity.

Paragraph 1 – Family
Topic Sentence: Family is a great catalyst for establishing a sense of belonging. It is where one expects to find un conditional love and support, as well as possessing a bond formed between parent and child that transcends the boundaries of hardships. However in the memoir Romulus My Father, by Arthur Golden the concept of family is complicated by the Gaita's move to Australia and Christina's mental illness. Raimond experiences a conflicting sense of belonging within his family, by finding stability and assurance in his father Romulus but a contrasting sense of instability and isolation in his relationship with his mother, Christina. Christina's relentless search for fulfilment through excitement and scandal is what brought her and Romulus together and ironically what will determine their tragic fate. “father was involved in the black market”, “very middle class German parents looked down on the foreigner”, “if found they would of almost certainly of been shot” After moving to Australia Christine finds a contrasting environment, one which is filled of “symbols of desperation and barrenness” and “to the European eye seemed desolate”. This causes her to become restless. Raimond describes his mother as a “troubled city girl, she could not settle in a landscape that that highlighted her isolation”. The landscape becomes a metaphor “I saw her alone … walking with an uncertain gait, in the vast landscape … forsaken.” She is further isolated by the community “ Tom Lillie and others disliked my mother … dangerously seductive manifestation .. characterless woman” (hyperbole) She is pushed away from her husband and son due to her mental illness that causes her to act in a way that detaches her not only from the community but from her family. This leads to Raimond's suffering as he has a fragmented and tumultuous relationship with his mother. “incapable of taking care of me, ignoring my elementary needs” - unable to establish basic bond “ I felt awkward with her” sense of belonging with mother lost, juxtaposed with his relationship with father “I loved him too deeply … no quarrel could ever estrange us” Father makes sacrifice “ he denied himself so I could have more” Death unites the family as Christina finally finds peace, this peace brings peace to their family “we came together as son and husband with the woman who's remains lay beneath us” this quote reiterates the bond formed between father and son, due to their relationship with Christina.

Paragraph 2 – Family ( Related)
Topic Sentence: In the novel Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, family decisions impact Sayuri's destiny. Due to her mothers illness that with inevitably take her life, and her fathers old age rendering him incompetent to look after his daughters, Sayuri and her sister Satsu are sold to be educated in the skill of being a Geisha. Sayuri becomes displeased with her family and dreams of being adopted. She starts to compare her home to that of a richer family “ Mr. Takana's house smelt of smoke and pine, but ours smelt of her illness in a way...
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