Romulus, My Father- belonging to family

Topics: Family, Cousin, Interpersonal relationship Pages: 3 (1087 words) Published: July 4, 2014
How is Belonging to a Family Shown Within the Text?

It is intrinsic to human nature to desire a sense of belonging to a group or community. One of the first ways in which mankind does this is through one’s family. Belonging is shown through the familial relationship between Raimond and his father Romulus. The depths of their relationship is depicted in contrast to both Raimond’s and Romulus’ relationships with Christine, Raimond’s mother. The juxtaposition of Christine’s care for Raimond, with that of Romulus’ outlines the depths of their devotion to raising their child and providing a community for him in which he belongs. The concept of family is not restricted to just its biological definition, but also the close bonds forged between Romulus, Raimond and Hora. The sense of family created between a man and wife is also explored in Romulus, My father. Christine’s infidelity causes alienation and tension in her marriage with Romulus.

The sense in which belonging is portrayed in the text is highlighted by its contrast to alienation. Christine, Raimond’s mother, is painted as a selfish, morally dubious woman who cannot be trusted with responsibility. Christine’s lack of discipline is shown in the lines “After she gave birth to me… She seemed incapable of taking care of me, ignoring my elementary needs”. Pg 8 Christine’s incapacity as a mother is shown from the outset of Raimond’s life, she cannot even provide his most basic needs. The result of this is tension in Raimond and Christine’s relationship, which is symptomatic of Christine’s alienating affect on Raimond. “I felt awkward with her and, perhaps to reduce the distance between us, she suggested we play a tune on the dukebox.” Pg 109 Christine’s inability to relate to her son is shown through her need to find something to occupy their attentions to mediate their awkwardness together. This is contrasted with Romulus’ selflessness that displayed itself in his dedication to Raimond’s upbringing. “He and...
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