Mind Map on ROMULUS, MY FATHER, created by asher.rhys.scott on 05/13/2015.
Mind Map by asher.rhys.scott, updated more than 1 year ago More Less
Created by elissa.menaker over 7 years ago
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Resource summary

  1. TONE: Retrospective - Gaita makes himself vulnerable to his responder by inviting them to observe Australian society from the perspective of a migrant.
    1. IMAGERY: Romulus’ experience is typical of a first generation migrant as is displaced and separated from his homeland, conveyed through the imagery of his disconnection to the Australian landscape: “He longed for European society, saying that he felt like a ‘prisoner’ in Australia.”
      1. SETTING: The setting at the isolated Frogmore provides the Europeans with the opportunity to establish their own values away from mainstream Australia. This draws attention to their emotional need to belong; they group together through shared experience and background.
        1. SYMBOLISM: Frogmore, the central setting of the memoir, becomes a symbol of the importance of connecting to a place. Raimond’s ability to balance the rural and urban Australian life through his house and his education, expresses his success with belonging.
          1. CONTRAST: Gaita’s perception of the land changes with the tragedies that occur from it, causing him to see Frogmore from a more realistic view than the ‘haven’ he saw as a child: “My father’s vulnerability changed my attitude to Frogmore. In his sighs I heard our isolation and for the first time I felt estranged from the area.” The contrast, Gaita and Romulus’ experiences cause the responder to reflect on the importance of belonging and what the consequences are if we can’t find connect and find a sense of identity.
            1. STOICISM: Romulus is an example of stoicism displayed through typically male qualities, defined by his work ethic and strong European morals. Romulus’ European values are echoed by Hora and among the intolerance and alienation of Australian society, they find connection.
              1. SYMBOLISM: Raimond's mother Christine is continually isolated from her surroundings at Frogmore, and her emotional disconnection is reflected by Raimond: “A dead red gum stood only a hundred metres from the house, and for my mother became a symbol of her desolation.” The landscape is used as an objective-correlative for the misery that Christine feels, and her lack of emotional connection to Frogmore, in contrast to Raimond's personal epiphany later on, demonstrates the importance of the need to feel at ease in a place.
                1. The intrinsic nature of mankind can arguably be described as one's wish to develop a sense of connection to one another, and to strive towards a sense of belonging. Belonging describes the state when one finally reaches an affinity, whether it is physical, emotional or otherwise, with an entity, that may be a community, a place, or ideal. The importance of the desire to belong can be seen in the texts Romulus, My Father by Raimond Gaita.
                  2. REPRESENATATION: Upon arrival, Romulus seeks out “other Romanians.” The noun, “Romanians,” is representative of the fact that early in his immigration experience, Romulus can only seem to find a sense of belonging through relationships and ties with his Romanian home, his previous sense of identity to place, and not through any cultural connection to Australia. Through this lack of Australian identity, Romulus experiences a lack of belonging to place.
                    1. DEROGATARY TONE: The lack of belonging, through isolation, that Romulus and Christine experience in Australia is reciprocated by the native community due to the lack of acceptance and understanding towards the immigrants. Australians labelled the immigrants, calling them, “New Australians,” and, “the Balts.” These derogatory terms excluded Romulus and his family from Australian communities, isolating them, and highlighting the fact that they were different.
                      1. SYMBOLISM: (Shooting rabbits ) - Symbolic of Raimond’s attempt to conform to the Australian setting and follow the example set by other boys his age. He says, “conscious of the fact that I was the only boy in the area who did not kill rabbits even though they were a destructive pest,” with the superlatives, “only,” and, “even,” representing his previous isolation and alienation from the culture and traditions of Australian youth.
                        1. Gaita explores the aspect of relationships as a significant element of the concept of belonging. Gaita demonstrates the idea that mental illness can cause a barrier to the growth and development of relationships, and therefore cause a barrier to belonging. Mental illness first occurs within Christine. Christine’s relationship with Romulus is described as “intense and fraught” with these two descriptive words holding connotations of negative emotion and being reflective of the instability of their connection, which is a result of Christine’s own insecurity. As her illness grows over time, it becomes a symbolic representation of the growing distance between herself and her family.
                          1. When Raimond is born, Gaita explains that Christine “seemed incapable of taking care of me, ignoring my elementary needs of feeding and bathing.” The descriptive word, “incapable,” and the verb, “ignoring,” display the extremity of her mental illness and its significance to her lack of belonging by representing the insurmountable barrier to belonging that comes about when the filial bond between mother and child is not consummated. The adverb, “elementary,” and the verbs, “feeding,” and “bathing” emphasise the helplessness of an infant and further exemplify the depth of Christine’s internal turmoil due to her lack of motherly intuition. These consequences prevent the growth of relationships, which hinders ideas of connection and togetherness, and therefore causes a lack of belonging
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