Belonging Essay

An individual’s sense of belonging is largely derived from familial stability, the acknowledgement that some groups hold more value for an individual than others and the potential for an individual to enhance their community. In the text Romulus My Father, Raimond’s life is largely a reflection of his father’s staunch values and morals, and hence his family life plays a profound role in his sense of belonging. Similarly in Home Song Stories, a movie directed by Tony Ayres, the life experiences and more importantly desires of Rose, the mother, are largely reflected through the functioning of her family.
A major issue in Home Song Stories is the lack of familial stability, which gravely impacts on both Rose and her children’s feelings of acceptance. This is portrayed when she says “this is our home now”, after moving to Australia from China to live with an ex-lover. Tom, her son replies “yeah but that’s what you always say.” The close shot of the family on the bed presents the new society in which they’ve relocated irrelevant, as the shot could be from anywhere. This suggests that the sense of belonging felt by Rose and her kids is challenged to a greater extent by the instability of their family, rather than the xenophobic, homogenous society of 1950’s Australia. This idea is reinforced in a more subtle way as Rose shouts at her Chinese lover Joe, “You’re just like the rest.”, comparing him to Bill. The frantic camera movement’s show Rose’s feeling of abandonment and through the comparison of two culturally opposite lovers, it suggests that this feeling of betrayal is not dependant on race or culture, but is a universal concept. As a result of the constant displacement of her family and her numerous relationship failures, the stability and familial acceptance of her family is jeopardised.
One of the major consequences of finding acceptance within a group is the potential for an individual to enrich this community. In Home Song Stories, Rose’s views are expressed...