Essay on Romulus My Father, the Arrival by Shaun Tan

985 Words4 Pages
The need to belong is an aspect that makes us human and the feeling of belonging makes us feel fulfilled. To belong is when an individual feels a sense of acceptance by being part of a group or culture. Belonging is an inherent human condition in which we strive for acceptance and security through others. The human need to belong can be seen in the memoir by Raimond Gaita called Romulus My Father. Another text where the theme of belonging is evident is The Arrival by Shaun Tan. Lastly the poem Refugee Blues by W H Auden explores the concept of belonging by illustrating the rejection German Jews felt during World War II. These texts through a variety of literary techniques explore the human condition of the need to belong. One way the need for belonging is shown in Romulus, My Father is through the theme of isolation. The Gaitas each faced their own fears of unable to belong, but none so as much as Christina who dies to the loneliness of been unable to fit in. “He found her just staring into the fire” describes Raymond, illustrating how desperate his mother had been. As a result she is characterized as ‘appearing to be cheerful and vivacious’ but in truth ‘deeply depressed.’ Christina is an allusion of the displaced socialite hungry for a sense of fulfillment and security, in a place where she cannot get the acceptance she seeks; she wants to ‘fall asleep and die”. She feels geographically and culturally displaced, as a result she never settles into Frogmore. Raymond uses a series of fragmented repetitions to convey the alienation felt by Christina. He states, “Her vivacity was gone…some days she stayed… some days she was gone… no explanation, then or ever.” Her eventual suicide is a result of the accumulated guilt, stress, and lack of acceptance that her lack of fulfillment brings about. In juxtaposition Romulus however is a character whom attempts to overcome the

More about Essay on Romulus My Father, the Arrival by Shaun Tan

Open Document