Sense Of Belonging In Romulus, My Father

910 Words4 Pages
“Barriers to cultural experience do not always prevent a sense of belonging” In the text ‘Romulus, my Father’, barriers to cultural experience is a key and integral idea presented throughout the text. At first glance it appears that the Gaita’s personal and cultural contexts create barriers between them and the rest of the Australian community. However at a closer glance we can see that as ironic as it may seem, Romulus Gaita’s experiences and character symbolises him as a figure of not belonging to the majority of society. In turn, this idolises Romulus as a sort of role model for those who don’t belong within a deeper community and as a key member of the intangible group of sophisticated intellectuals. This idea is shown throughout ‘Romulus,…show more content…
Symbolic setting is used to portray the mood and emotions of Romulus. For example the use of the vivid, descriptive setting on pg 123: “Tall burnt yellow grass… moving irregularly” and “rounded granite boulders” depicts Romulus undergoing electroshock therapy and his resilience and toughness respectively. His father’s actions and experiences allow Gaita to view the world in terms of his father and not in terms of the physical landscape. It allows him to connect with himself almost and Romulus’ suffering provides Raimond with a unique way of viewing the world and expressing himself. The use of events within ‘Romulus, my Father’ also allow us to view Romulus himself as a sort of tragic hero, since his fatal flaw is being too trusting of people’s karacter. The novel depicts Romulus as a unique character, who has a deep sense of integrity, yet this integrity ironically destroys his soul. He is wise, yet in a sense illogical since much of his judgement takes place on an irrational basis. The novel not only uses the idea of a romantic tragedy, but also takes other forms such as eulogy, bildungs roman and biography. This use of shifting language modes represents Raimond himself changing, both in pace of the story and his opinion regarding his father. It also shows Romulus as a foreigner and his complexity in both his mind and life he lead. Since his actions can be expressed in terms of the environment and…show more content…
Through the use of advanced techniques and the storyline of the novel Gaita creates an ironic representation of barriers and the effect they can have, not only on one person but also within a broader
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