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Romulus My Father Essay Essay

Through the exposition of Raymond Gaita’s non-fiction biographical memoir ‘Romulus my Father’ it is evident that one’s strong culture and heritage can often heighten a sense of belonging within an individual group however in some cases can act as a barrier to belonging to society as a whole. We are shown Romulus’s strong connection to his culture and religion, which ultimately enhances his positive sense of belonging to his original heritage. “Many were Bible stories and their memory nourished his deeply religious spirit throughout his life.” The use of descriptive language “nourished” enhances to the reader Romulus’s strong sense of religion which is inscribed into him as a major part of his moral and ethics. However this strong connection to this heritage acts as a barrier for Romulus and ultimately ostracises him, leading to his alienation within the Australian context.

“Even after more than forty years my father could not become reconciled to it. He longed for the generous and soft European foliage, but the eucalyptus of Baringhup, scraggy except for the noble red gums on the river bank, seemed symbols of deprivation and barrenness.” This quote explores the contrasting environments, showing Romulus clinging to old ties with his native country and then experiencing isolation within the Australian context.

The description of the European landscape as “generous” and “soft” highlights Romulus’s obvious preference for his home country, this experience juxtaposes with the contrast of the “scraggy” harshness of the Australian landscape, ultimately showing Romulus’s separation from the notion of belonging within the Australian context. It is evident through the comparison of these quotes that Romulus’s strong sense of belonging within his heritage results in barriers for him in belonging within Australian society. Another example of Romulus’s isolation within Australia is obvious with his disparity with the Australian people. This quote highlights that Romulus is not familiar with the Australian land which ultimately ostracises him.

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