Explore How Perceptions of Belonging or Not Belonging Are Influenced by Connections to Places.

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A connection to a physical location may present us with the perception that we either belong or not belong however, it is the connections that we form with people in places, memories of previous places and ones response to experiences within places that heightens ones sense of belonging or alienation. The concept of belonging through connections with people, experiences and memories in certain places is explored in the texts Romulus my Father a memoir by Raimond Gaita and Oranges and Sunshine directed by Jim Loach.
It is not a connection with the physical landscape that allows us to experience a sense of inclusion but rather connections built with people or communities that either heighten ones sense of affiliation or estrangement. This
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Raimond also justifies his mother’s affair with Mitru when he describes his mother as “a troubled girl from central Europe who could not settle in the dilapidated landscape that heightened her isolation”. The complexity of the bond is developed through Anna’s first attempt at suicide, which is more of a desperate cry for help; “In words that were barely comprehensible she said that she loved me and wanted to say goodbye, that she would fall asleep and then die”. This vivid memory of his mother saying goodbye leads to a very complex bond between the pair. Perhaps the most intense memory of his mother that Gaita has is the memory of his mother returning from hospital after this suicide attempt, “alone, small, frail, walking with an uncertain gait and a distracted air. In the vast landscape with only crude wire fences and a rough track to mark an human impression on it she appeared forsaken. She looked at me as though she had returned from the dead, unsure about the value of her achievement”. The memory is bittersweet, although she is alive after a failed suicide attempt; she conveys a vivid impression of someone who does not belong in the place they are in and does not seem to belong in that life. Raymond’s memories of experiences at Frogmore, especially experiences with regards to his mother, has shaped and built his connection with Frogmore allowing him to experience
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