Understanding nourishes belonging and a lack of understanding prevents it. Demonstrate how your prescribed text represents this interpretation of belonging: In order to understand belonging an individual needs to accept themselves and consequently be accepted by others. By understanding the innate forces that drive a sense of belonging on can develop a sense of self-identity. The notion of belonging is shaped by personal experiences, cultural, historical and social contexts. The text Romulus, My Father, by Raimond Gaita represents the aspects of belonging through ideals such as family, heritage and personal backgrounds.
These aspects of belonging are highly contrasted with the portrayal of isolation and rejection faced by Romulus himself. The novel Romulus, My Father shapes the ideals of belonging through the philosophical view of Romulus’ life. The forces of belonging that compel Romulus’ to be accepted are highly dependable on loyalty to his home country and therefore the relationships that he establishes, emphasising his heritage. The ideology of belonging is emphasised by two contributing factors, Romulus’ cultural background and therefore his newfound relationships.
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Initially Romulus’ is faced with the new atmosphere and landscape of Australia, however this does not stop Romulus’ from feeling the instinctual need to belong. Instead Romulus’ is compelled to reside in his Romanian familiarity and consequently seeks out “any other Romanians”, finding Hora and Mitru. The forces of belonging are portrayed through the similarity of their heritage, hence creating a strong bond between them. The relationship between Romulus and Hora is classified as “a lifelong friendship”, which is tested and challenged through many trails, “they remained friends, but friends apart”.
This relationship is shaped by the ideal that through belonging one can develop personality; through personal choice Romulus’ character is established. However the intrinsic need to belong holds them together throughout the hardships of life. Similarly Romulus’ relationship with Raimond is based on familiarity and thus the innate force of belonging is portrayed through their family bond. Romulus’ personality is observed as an individual who values their morals highly, causing conflict with Raimond, “He’s the philosopher”.
This concept shows how belonging is not merely a feeling that one shares but rather an ongoing force the acts optimistically and pessimistically. Through both of these relationships, one tied by heritage the other by blood, Romulus is able to belong. This nourishment of belonging allows Romulus to develop self-identity, establishing his morals, ethics and his personality. Understanding the innate forces of belonging create a stable atmosphere in which relationships are able to thrive and this allows Romulus’ to belong.
Romulus, My Father contrasts an immense force of belonging with the contradictory concepts of isolation and rejection. Isolation and both rejection are unable to co-exist with the forces of belonging as they define the boundaries between acceptance and denial. Throughout the novel Romulus constantly finds himself in isolation, intensified by his mental illness. Romulus’ mental illness rejects the innate nature to belong and therefore those who once belonged with Romulus are driven apart by opposing forces.
Romulus’ mental illness emphasised the fragile nature in which belonging is concerned, not understanding that he needed to belong, Romulus drives himself to his own destruction through rejecting the forces of belonging. Accordingly losing his self-identity and becoming an empty shell of fear and isolation. Through Raimonds perspective the hospital looked “like a foreign world to me”, portrays this new idea that although Romulus is there in flesh, his mind is not, thus creating the divide between father and son.
Romulus’ isolation is portrayed through his inability to comprehend the landscape of Australia, “to a European or English eye it seems desolate”. The representation on isolation is seen through the use of the word ‘desolate’, thus highlighting Romulus’ own personal feelings through third person. Romulus’ lack of belonging bridges the gap between his inanity and reality, his own personal choice of deciding not to belong created his isolation from himself.
Consequently Romulus is powerless against the isolation that he feels due to his neglect of the human desire to belong. The innate nature of belonging is shaped by personal choice and the morals in which we believe. To nourish belonging in hope that it will thrive, an individual must first understand the forces that compel us as human beings to belong. To belong to a family, group, race or society expands to form this central idea that to belong one must initially understand the forces that drive a sense of belonging.