The process of belonging involves both choosing and being chosen. Do you agree?
Belonging is a complex process whereby we gain our identity: a sense of who and what we are. This sense of identity comes from the connections we make physically, emotionally and spiritually. These connections are integral to this identity and for each of them to be fully realised the things we choose must choose or accept us in return.
This importance of physical connection to our identity is borne out by the experiences of the central characters in Romulus, My Father. The range of reactions of the three members of the Gaita family to the situation at Frogmore shows this. For Christina there is no hope of happiness there: “a troubled city girl…. she could not settle in a dilapidated farmhouse that highlighted her isolation” (p25). Christine’s longing for company and for a busier lifestyle mean her initial and subsequent attempts to live at Frogmore with Romulus are doomed to failure. Her unhappiness and her searching lead her into a doomed relationship with Mitru that ultimately brings destruction to them both.
Whilst Romulus also finds the physical landscape unwelcoming “because he talked so often of the beautiful trees of Europe” (p61), he is far more grounded in his relationship with Raimond and with Hora. It is this strong sense of family that made Frogmore bearable for Romulus: it offered the hope that our family might be reunited.” (p14). Clearly, there is a difference in the acceptance of the physical situation between Romulus and Christina, but also crucially in the way that the situation accepts them. Christina, compared to Romulus, is an outsider.
Like Christina, Shaun Field the central character in the film This Is England (Shane Meadows 2003) is an outsider. He is shown to be physically isolated at the start of the film, he wakes up alone and gets himself to