Romulus My Father

The exploration of texts such as Raimond Gaita’s Romulus my father, Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands and Tim Winton’s Neighbours, all exemplify the universal theme of how our perceptions of belonging and not belonging can be influenced by connections to places.
Romulus my father is a biographical memoir detailing the cultural struggles of belonging and segregation within unfamiliar surroundings.   The text demonstrates how an individual’s interaction with others and the world around them can enrich or limit their experience of belonging.   Gaita uses reflective first person narration throughout the novel to not only express his own personal struggles to belong, but also his mother’s and father’s. Throughout the novel   Raimond’s use of imagery to describe the Australian landscape becomes a reoccurring motif and evocative metaphor, to convey his sense of isolation.   By juxtaposing the Australian and European landscapes this depicts Romulus’ and Christine’s estrangements to their surroundings and the hardships they face to conform to a new society.   Romulus cannot ‘become reconciled with the Australian landscape’, whose foliage seems to be ‘symbols of deprivation and bareness.’ Through the description of the wire fencing between the ‘colliding worlds’ this symbolises the barriers and conflicts Romulus must face in order to feel accepted in this new world. This exemplifies how out perceptions of belonging and not belong can be influenced by connections to places.    
Like Romulus my father, the film Edward Scissorhands and the short story Neighbours influence our connections of belonging and not belonging to place. In Edward Scissorhand colour is used to highlight the variation between two different worlds. The kitsch pastel colours and uniform shapes of the suburban houses differ completely from Edward’s monolithic castle, and the stereotypical neighbourhood with its bubbly and over enthusiastic residents are contrasted with the ‘unfinished’ and strange looking...