Sample Essay Romulus My Father

Sample Essay Romulus My Father

A major component of one’s sense of belonging is the affiliation with others. Whilst successful interpersonal relations founded on analogous beliefs and experiences facilitate Often the process to acceptance is prolonged but beneficial. (I know what you’re trying to get at here, but you need to state it in very simple terms. People who conform have stronger relationships than those who do not.) The memoir, ‘Romulus, my father’ by Raimond Gaita explores a spectrum of acceptance through key relationships. And film ‘American History X’ directed by Tony Kaye displays themes of enlightenment through people.

Through shared values, beliefs and experiences, individuals and communities gravitate closer and potentially enrich lives. A notion of commonality through cultural ties is recognised by Romulus in “whether there were any other Romanians… he sought them out and they quickly became friends” whereby the diction of ‘quickly’ emphasises the intrinsic nature of an individual to seek like-minded people and establish relations. However, authentic bonds lie beyond this superficial layer as represented by Romulus’ friendship with Hora as opposed to his brother Mitru. The mental correspondence of the two, through homologous principles, is hyperbolically expressed in “their individuality was inseparable from their talk” which reinforces their unity. Finally, the solid foundations through shared ideologies provide trust and honesty for enrichment. A remarkable amount of devotion and loyalty attached to this authentic bond is accentuated in the accumulation of “he did everything: made my meals, washed my clothes and prepared my school lunches” which portrays the love and care of Hora for Raimond during a period of adversity for the Gaita family and thus symbolically exhibits the power of genuine friendship.  Paradoxically, collective hatred and rage can foster a sense of belonging and is pronounced in ‘American History X’. The mise-en-scene of clustered men with shaved heads – a united physical expression of their neo-Nazi ideologies, denotes their inclusion through racism. Also, the accumulation in “he sent Derek to the kids, to the frustrated ones, the ones that are sick of getting their asses kicked by black and Mexican gangs; don’t just be some punk, be part of something” reveals the painful experiences that was essential in the formation of this collective.

(Some strong points here. You do need to separate your discussion here into two separate paragraphs for each text.)

Incongruent ideologies can result in the segregation and rejection of an individual or group. The antagonism between an individual’s desires and society’s expectations is epitomised by Christine’s isolation. As Christine continues to adhere to an European lifestyle, her failure to become the conventional mother and wife is underlined in Romulus’ wishful tone “hoped that she might settle into the responsibilities of being a wife and mother” and eventually ensues her disconnection within the familial setting. Furthermore, an ineffective adaptation to the social norms as evidenced in “provided the wrong conceptual environment for her to find herself and for others to understand her” empathetically outlines a disharmony between the unforgiving environment and her illness thus proving the two as incompatible. Moreover, a disruption of personal ethics induces a fragmentation within a relationship seen in the rhetorical “how can you let yourself be trampled down by such a characterless woman?” whereby Hora is exasperated by the relationship between Mitru and Christina – the engagement in the eyes of Hora appears unethical, subsequently upsetting their affiliation. (This does not make a lot of sense and needs to be much more specific in terms of who and what you are referring to.) Correspondingly, Derek’s racist conceptions in itself reduces him to seclusion. His isolation is reinforced in “in here, you the nigga” whereby the connotation of ‘nigga’ illustrates the shift in context and that in prison, the minorities come to dominate whilst the white race faces segregation.

Through prolonged interactions and empathy, a state of equilibrium can be achieved by a correction in judgement. An initial state of insecurity due to unestablished trust demonstrated in the contrast of “I could not believe that theft of such a small bottle could justify such a huge punishment” portrays Raimond’s confusion towards his father’s actions and in effect induces disorder between the two. Yet with time, as motivations and beliefs become apparent, understanding and empathy bridge the individuals to affinity. This notion of connection through empathy is projected in the reflective tone “he was particularly anxious about failings in my character because he feared that I would be like my mother,” thereby elucidating Romulus’ initial feedback as a constructive – essentially wanting Rai to adopt his moral integrity, and in effect, belong to him genetically. (This is a strong point and needed to be stated clearly a few sentences ago. You don’t build to the ‘punch’, because a marker who may be skimming this will completely overlook it.) Towards the end, an overall admirable tone evidenced in “his severe judgement often caused pain, but the simple honesty of its expression…convinces me that he never intentionally caused suffering to anyone” encompasses the final judgement of Rai’s relationship with Romulus – through the recollection of these memories, he is able to reflect in hindsight the love expressed by Romulus and hence deepening their sense of affinity. Similarly, the final enlightened state of Derek in ‘American History X’ due to his kinship with a black inmate suggested in “you know, I got this funny feeling” symbolically outlines his achievement of weightlessness by being tolerant. Also, (Don’t use ‘also’ to start a sentence, it appears to be an afterthought)a reinforcement of his new gained perspective is witnessed throughout the film in the juxtaposition of the monotonic flashbacks with the colours of his present life solidifies his connection to others and himself by being open-minded.

Conclusively, similar ideals have the potential to enrich the parties involved whilst those unable to conform are alienated. However, through understanding and empathy, differences are overcome to establish equilibrium.


(This is a good point but it has moved away from the connection with ‘Father and Child’. Remember, your argument here is that that particular stanza is representative of Harwood’s poetry as a whole.)


You’ve found some compelling evidence and show the capacity to discuss this evidence in an informed manner. Some strong links to the question, and your interpretation of ‘Father and Child’ does lend itself in some way to the rest of Harwood’s poetry.

I don’t feel this has fully addressed the question. You need to ‘bridge the gap’, so to speak, between the closing stanza of ‘Father and Child’ and other poems by Gwen Harwood. What you’ve done is give some quite valid analysis of her other poems but have not really attempted to discuss how they are linked with ‘Father and Child’. You also need to give this a bit of an edit.

Start with your discussion before you go with evidence. In other words, write the entire argument WITHOUT evidence first, and then add evidence as you are editing it. You may find that you will have stronger links and a greater focus on the question.

Your argument about the power of the ‘symbolic’ physical and emotional relationship is a strong one but it is underdeveloped in this case.

Ultimately, you have analysed the poems quite adeptly but haven’t done so in a way which fully addresses the question. Three quarters of this evidence needs to be removed in order for you to start discussing and linking these poems properly.

Your analysis shows real intelligence and insight, but really needs to go with establishing a case for how ‘Father and Child’ inform your judgement of Gwen Harwood’s poetry as a whole.

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