Landscape of Romulus My Father

4 Pages 1042 Words August 2015

One’s connection to landscape can have a huge impact on how one belongs to societal groups and their place in it. This sense of belonging is something that we all feel whether we mean to or not, whether it is for good or bad, whether we feel we belong or alienated. This sense of belonging can come through the landscape and the features of society that arises from it. This is evident in Raimond Gaita's memoir "Romulus My Father" and Chief Seattle’s speech on the environment.
 Gaita’s experience of belonging portrays it as a process, evident as the narrative traces his rejection, isolation, evaluation and finally assimilation. This is seen predominantly in his attempts to find a secure, compromised personal and cultural identity, somewhat separated from his father: “My relationship with my father had changed because I had asserted my independence.” This shift is metaphorically characterised by their different attitudes, particularly their separate experiences with the Australian landscape: “I had absorbed my father’s attitude to the countryside For the first time in my life I was really alive to beauty, receiving a kind of shock from it.” It is this personal struggle of balancing Gaita’s want to be a part of Australia culture, “My growing desire to lead a “normal” life was strengthened by the conformist aspirations of teenage culture” and his attempts to please his father that represents the adversity, and need to compromise in order to create a strong personal and cultural identity. Frogmore, the central setting of the memoir, becomes a symbol of the importance of connecting to a place. Raimond’s ability to balance the rural and urban Australian life through his house and his education, expresses his success with belonging. Those unable to find a balance suffer from the dislocation and isolation that comes from being a migrant. Gaita’s perception of the land changes with the tragedies that occur from it, c...

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