Understanding Nourishes Belonging....Alack of Understanding Prevents It. Romulus, My Father.

“Understanding nourishes belonging…. A lack of understanding prevents it.”

A sense of belonging emerges from the connections people make within their world. Different texts explore many aspects of belonging and these different aspects can be considered in terms of understanding. The Memoir ‘Romulus, My Father’ by Raimond Gaita is an example of a text in which a failure to understand leads to a barrier which prevents belonging. The Novel ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D. Salinger portrays a difference in opinion or perspective and this difference is what leads to a failure to understand. The short story ‘Sand’ by Tim Winton places a particular emphasis on how relationships and acceptance can lead to understanding and in turn a sense of belonging.

Specific experiences in a person’s life can have large effects on the person and can lead to a lack of understanding and a break in a relationship. Relationships, experiences and understanding are vital aspects of belonging and without them certain connections cannot be made and a sense of belonging might not emerge. In the memoir ‘Romulus, My Father’ by Raimond Gaita the composer recounts his childhood and goes deeply into the characterisation of his Father. Romulus is described by Raimond as a man with strong ‘beliefs and values’ and this aspect of his father’s identity is what caused Raimond a great deal of misunderstanding which acted a s a barrier of belonging. Raimond reminisces on a specific time in his childhood when he was staying with his father at Cairn Curran. Romulus’ roommate Schwaba was accusing Raimond of stealing his aftershave, which he did. Romulus asks Raimond whether he did and Raimond continues to lie saying he ‘did not touch it.’ Raimond then explains how his father’s ‘temper flared’ and that he smacked him. Raimond uses descriptive language to explain his father’s anger which highlights that Romulus’ laws or beliefs were unbreakable. Raimond could not understand his father’s arrogance at such a...