Humans' Need to Belong

Decent Essays

Belonging is at the core of the human condition. A significant individual can nurture or prevent a sense of belonging in individuals, groups or communities and is a prevalent concept in the autobiographies ‘Romulus, My Father’ by Raimond Gaita and ‘I know why the caged bird sings’ by Maya Angelou, a story about growing up African American in 1930s. These texts explore how a mentoring figure, an individual’s insecurities and how confidence and self-esteem in a community can instil or prohibit a sense of belonging.
An individual’s insecurities can prevent a sense of belonging in a community is an idea demonstrated in ‘Romulus, My Father’ through Christine. Social pressures of gender roles and the ‘barrenness’ feed an insecurity that is artificially relieved by longing for company and seducing men to gain a sense of power and connection. However it further alienates herself “My mother had other lovers and he was tormented by jealousy… my mother and he quarrelled over her infidelities.” The use of vivid language ‘tormented’ and ‘quarrelled,’ highlight how her actions, result of her insecurities, strain the relationship between her and Mitru. This also serves to characterise Christine in the early chapters, as the ‘villain’ and due to the autobiographical nature of this text, reflects Raimond’s disconnect to his mother. Therefore Christine and her insecurities prevent a sense of belonging between her, Mitru and Raimond.
Similarly in ‘I know why the caged bird sings’ Maya’s

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