Belonging- Identity

English Assessment

The desire to belong is essential for the human psyche as it ultimately shapes one’s identity and plays a significant part in the lives of individuals. The process by which belonging shapes our identity is complex, it requires hard work and suppression of certain traits that may act as barriers to belonging. A few barriers to belonging evident in these texts are culture, appearance, language, ideal, society, attitude and illness. The concept of belonging and not belonging is clearly portrayed in the texts “Romulus, My Father” by Raimond Gaita, “Feliks Skrzynecki” by Peter Skrzynecki and the movie “Edward Scissorhands” directed by Tim Burton. By carefully analysing these texts we will see how belonging is the cornerstone to finding one’s identity.

The memoir “Romulus, my Father” by Raimond Gaita portrays how a sense of belonging can impact characters. The protagonists in this memoir must try to retain a sense of belonging and their identity although being victims of dysfunctional families and migration which have forged and broken bonds in individuals. Families essential in forging ones identity.

Our culture and upbringing is the foundation which helps to mould our building blocks of moral codes to which we live our lives. In “Romulus, my Father,” Romulus culture and the way he has been brought up has been the baseline to the set of moral codes he lived by in his life. Romulus did not feel he belongs to Australia as the experience of another culture remains a barrier to feel a true sense of belonging. Due to his cultural experience and upbringing Romulus has strong values and ideals, namely his hospitality, patience, hard work, loyalty, morality and his vision of a character. When in Australia, Romulus wants to belong to the community on a deeper level and not on a superficial level, however he resolutely holds on to his ideals and opinions and doesn’t particularly fit in. Romulus feels that the way to belong to a community is through...