Explore how perceptions of belonging and not belonging can be influenced by connections to places.
In your response, refer to your prescribed text and at least ONE other related text of your own choosing.
A sense of belonging is heavily influenced by connections to places. Gaita’s memoir ‘Romulus my Father’ set in the 1950’s context, explores the difficulties migrants endured whilst attempting to assimilate and accept the Australian culture and way of life that differed greatly from their own. ‘The rabbits’ a picture book with sparse text, is an allegorical representation of colonization, that effectively also explores the difficulties faced by Aborigines to maintain their sense of belonging to their land, as the white settlers have taken their domestication to a ruthless efficiency. Through analyzing both texts, it becomes amply clear that a sense of belonging is borne out of a strong connection to place, where if the connection isn’t developed, belonging is futile.
In order for one to develop a connection to place and in turn find a sense of belonging, one must develop a sense of belonging to that culture. This is explored in Gaita’s retrospective narrative ‘Romulus my Father’ as he tells the story of Romulus’ difficulties to belong to the Australian way of life, while he desired to assimilate, Romulus felt the need to remain true to his old identity. Gaita employs emphatic language ‘My father Romulus Gaita always considered himself a Romanian’, to evoke Romulus’ strong connection to his birth culture that essentially formed his identity. Repeated references to european foliage ‘The peppercorns to be found at almost every settlement area’, emphasize Romulus’ relentless attempts to both, maintain his identity, and develop a connection to the Australian culture, by changing the nature of his new world to be that of his old world. Romulus was eventually able to develop a connection to Australia and in turn find a sense of belonging, as it was his...
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