Romulus My Father Belonging

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Interaction is the very inception of belonging. Whilst the concept is multifaceted and complex, there are distinctive interactions that either enrich or limit an individual’s experience of belonging. This is highlighted through examination of Gaita’s RMF and other texts, which each explore the synergy that is belonging.

The pedigrees of culture forge the basis of an individual’s experience of belonging. impact on the way in which individuals relate to a particular geographic environment. Collectively, culture and environment can be an enriching force of connection; despite this, cultural dislocation can also limit ones sense of belonging. Gaita feels limited by a chasm of cultural dissimilarity. His use of tactile imagery creates a strong connection between Romulus and his homeland as he yearns for “soft and European foliage”. This idea is reinforced as he attempts to manufacture an artificial European aesthetic in Frogmore by surrounding himself with “the pepper tree” and other Baltic immigrants. Romulus’ rejection of Australian Flora and Fauna is furthered through parallelism with his wife’s adverse attitude to the topography. Gaita’s hyperbolic and dysphemistic description: “the vast landscape with only crude wire fences” effectively illustrates Christine’s state of cultural dissimilarity. The displacement experienced by Romulus and his wife is reiterated as their distaste for the Australian bush is paralleled with their aversion to a culture that is too unfamiliar to embrace; inevitably limiting their experience of belonging.

Romulus’ limited relationship with Australian environment and culture is juxtaposed with Raimond’s enriching connection and avid experience of belonging. Gaita conveys this through a potent use of pathetic fallacy as Raimond “finds solace in the sparse scrub and open bushland” whereas his father perceives the bush in a manner that implies its deficiency: “desolate… symbols of deprivation and barrenness.” This blatant conflict of...
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