First 3 Chaps of Romulus

How do the first 3 chapters of Romulus, My Father reflect the migrant experience in the 1950’s? Discuss the effect of European politics, Australian attitudes and the personal experience of leaving and resettlement.

Politics were something that Romulus had to deal with both in Europe and in Australia. It was the main reason for migration. Nazism grew and killed many millions of Jews and Romani people. There was an exclusion of racial groups and Romulus felt no sense of belonging.
When Romulus migrated to Australia looking for a change he found that Australia’s attitude reflected Europe’s politics. Australia was at time where the policy was for a “white Australia” and the idea of a white territory was greatly reinforced. Most people that didn’t fit the blonde haired, blue eyed category felt excluded from the rest as that was the specific type Australia was interested in. Romulus fell into this category. He was a dark man and said he “felt a little embarrassed by his dark complexion, calling himself a gipsy and later in Australia, an Aborigine”. This shows how he felt growing up and living in different parts of the world. It tells us that wherever he went he never felt at home.  
When Romulus got to Australia he noticed that the landscape wasn’t like it was in Europe. The land was mostly bare with a couple of red gums, peppercorns and cypresses around. Romulus wasn’t used to this and felt rather distant and disconnected from the land, as did Christine. Raimond says “A dead red gum stood a hundred metres from the house and became for my mother a symbol of her desolation”. This highlights the isolation everyone feels from their hometown and what they’re used to.
Romulus and other “new Australians” were used for labour work. They were put to work in places like dams to build reservoirs or to work on railway tracks. “The authorities for assigning jobs chose not to utilize the many skills of the foreign workers … given menial manual tasks”. This tells us how...