Romulus My Father + Related Texts

Topics: Perception, Sense, Mind Pages: 5 (1966 words) Published: August 3, 2010
“As human beings, a feeling of belonging is vital to the well being and self esteem of the individual, but a lack of connection, or rejection can cause instability and other negative repercussions” Senses of belonging evolve from the connections made with entities such as people, places and communities. The feeling of connection or relation with these entities is formed from the perception of oneself and the perception of these entities as shaped by historical cultural, social, and personal context. Romulus my father as a text explores how relationships are affected by inside and outside influences such as changes of context. It also shows how barriers to belonging such as Romulus’s self perception and how others perceived him hindered his ability to feel a sense of belonging in Australia. Gaita does this by using literary techniques and textual features such as simile, metaphors, emotive language and detailed imagery and comparison in Raimond's landscapes to define and underscore the complex feelings and relationships stemming from the vastly differing characters and contexts within the book. 1984is a renowned classic icon of dystopian society, and makes extensive use of iconography and setting to explore the complex relationships and passionate, polar feelings of staunch belonging and bitter non-belonging. 1984 attempts to explore the effects of forcing people to belong to a collective community that suppresses human feelings / instincts in order to eliminate anything which may oppose the positive perception and feelings of joyful belonging to the leader of the community / Government, Big Brother. District 9 has a moral, redemption themed storyline, and shows strong examples of group identity, xenophobia, acceptance and rejection. The strong use of historical, social and personal contexts, the visual environment and characterisation helps create passionate feelings of non-belonging and lets the audience experience the effects of barriers to belonging. Along with film techniques, District 9 uses other techniques such as irony and metaphors to convey the feelings of acceptance / Rejection to the audience. These texts have a common theme of exploring the human perception, relationships and feelings of belonging between them. In particular, all 3 of my chosen texts share the technique of using landscapes to give meaning and reflecting relationships to the entities it represents. In Romulus my father, portrayal of the landscape forms a reoccurring symbol for the attitudes of Raimond and Romulus to belonging to their adopted country of Australia. Gaita makes many mentions of Romulus’s feelings of alienation through landscape, as he earned “for generous and soft European foliage” and pointing out “though the landscape is one of rare beauty, to a European or English eye it is desolate”. This results in him having no cultural or spiritual connection to the land, and creates a barrier to belonging to Australia as a whole. His desire to belong to his family however, causes him to move to a farm far away from society, creates another barrier through physical separation. This lack of connection and belonging [Both to society and the land itself] causes Romulus consternation that is a factor in his eventual breakdown of mental health. Raimond on the other hand begins to appreciate the landscape as he grows up, “it was as though god had taken me to the back of his workshop and shown me something really special.” – This shows that although some attitudes are inherited from family, Raymond's connection to the landscape is caused by his feelings of association with Australian society and his self recognition of being Australian [Which Romulus does not]. Another example in Romulus is Christiana’s trouble with connecting to life in Australia. She dislikes the landscape “A dead red gum stood only a hundred meters from the house and became a symbol of her desolation” and struggles to connect to people, as shown by her frequent disloyalties and...
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