Belonging manifests in our abilities to connect with people and places, locations and landscapes provide a tangible representation of our intangible feelings of belonging, while relationships and connections to people provide the social security and support that is essential to human nature. Romulus, My Father, a biographical memoir written by Raimond Gaita, explores these concepts of how connections to people and place, or lack thereof, can have dramatic and detrimental consequences on our wellbeing. This is particularly explored in the characters Christine and Romulus, who each experience an absence of belonging in their relationships with people and place. As well as this, Romulus, My Father demonstrates how belonging to place can be affected by our relationships with people. These ideas are similarly explored in the short story, Neighbours by Tim Winton, which explores the difficulties faced by a couple in settling into a neighbourhood of immigrants.
Developing strong relationships with other people can lead us to define our own personalities and actions. However, in Romulus, My Father, the connections shared between family and friends constantly encounters various troubles and difficulties surrounding them, consequently many of these people experience problems develop in their own well-being. The relationship between Romulus and Christine, resolves itself in a detrimental manner, and consequently Raimond himself is even affected, this is demonstrated in the constant sidelining of his mother’s perspective and mental illnesses, while glorifying and excusing the actions of his father, as a result of his mother’s abandonment of their family. Even when Christine is first introduced, she is described as “well-educated, interested in theatre, reads Shakespeare in translation and likes opera”, which Romulus “mistook… for snobbishness, a fault he detested even then, but indulged in her because he loved her”. At the beginning of their relationship, Romulus...
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