Romulus, Between Shades of Gray and the Kite Runner Essay

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An individual’s interaction with others and the world around them can enrich or limit their experience of belonging

The base for an individual’s experience of belonging begins with the tempestuous walk we undertake throughout our life. Through our cold days of solitude we long to reach the sunlight which will thaw the chill of isolation. Most achieve this goal easily, creating a network of relationships and solidifying their place in the world. However, for others, this journey endeavoured only ends in tragedy and regret. Through the novels of Romulus, My Father, Between Shades of Gray and The Kite Runner, we see the ramifications of the pursuit of acceptance, safety and the right to be content.

Through Romulus My Father, the withdrawal of Christina highlights the negative effects of her inability to belong. She becomes deeply depressed, and her isolation and inability to function in her new home diminishes her self-acceptance. Although she attempts to connect with Raimond and Romulus, her efforts fail. She cannot belong even to her own family. Through symbolism of the meat in the lines below, Raimond Gaita shows the great depth of Christina’s longing for connection with her family, and the impact of the consequences of her actions upon her son. “Perhaps she and my father had discussed the chances of reconciliation, for the time she was here she tried harder than ever to care for me and the house. She made curtains for the windows, cleaned and occasionally cooked. On my eleventh birthday we lit the stove and she cooked ... She burnt the meat, but so rare was the experience of her preparing any kind of meal that I have since had a fondness for burnt meat. “

With the character of Romulus, the pursuit of belonging is not undertaken. He simply has no desire to belong; however, his actions and ‘karakter’ make him able to solidify his place in the world. He interacts with those around him without a need for acceptance, and thus achieves a goal that he had...
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