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Better Essays
The Area of Study

63

Sample response: Nonfiction
Prescribed text: Romulus, My Father, Raimond Gaita, 1999
Related text: Gary’s House, Debra Oswald, 2000 (drama)
Statement about belonging and understanding directly related to the question through the thesis statement

Context
Relationship of place to belonging is discussed, with supporting evidence from text

Final statement in the paragraph sums up the pressures of place versus family in the quest to belong – taps into the thesis about the self, in the statement forces from within Connections between the two texts are indicated by the use

Understanding and belonging have a curious relationship. On the one hand, understanding or empathy for others helps you to accept them and to be inclusive. Lack of understanding can be the reason for excluding people. But understanding is also often necessary if one is already in a situation of belonging; knowing about what and who you belong to can offer emotional nourishment. This latter interpretation of understanding and belonging is in play in the biography Romulus, My Father. Developed from a eulogy for his father, Raimond Gaita uses the process of memory to understand his past and what it is he belongs to. The same search for what it means to belong can be seen in Debra Oswald’s play Gary’s House, which explores the importance of family and the Australian ‘dream’ of owning a house. In both texts, the writer,
Raimond Gaita and the protagonist, Gary, come to an understanding of what belonging means to them; self-awareness is the main focus in both. This selfawareness includes the knowledge of what it means not to be understood. For each, belonging is about place and relationships, but in Gaita we see that belonging is also about ideas and beliefs. What we also see implicitly through comments made about the respective pasts of each person is that lack of understanding can prevent belonging.
Belonging is often deeply

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