"Romulus My Father". Essay

1266 words - 5 pages

In the Biography "Romulus, my father" written by Raimond Gaita, Romulus believes that nothing in life matters so much "as to live it decently". Having a very moral perspective, a strong work ethic and enduring friendships such as his one with Hora were the foundation of how Romulus believed life should be lived and he was a perfect illustration of his definition of decency. However the biography shows us that decency does not always guarantee happiness. Pain and suffering however unwanted are a part of life's unpredictability and can simply not be avoided. In Romulus' case mental illness, death and heartbreak were all present at some point in his life and the pain and suffering he had to endure was perhaps made worse due to his extreme moral and decent nature.Romulus' morality went further than simply what was right and wrong, morality to Romulus was a way of life, and he looked down upon those without any moral standing. Honesty, charity and integrity were all paramount to the way in which he lead his life and are exemplified throughout the biography. Romulus felt it was his duty to be honest not because honesty pays, but because it was the right thing to do. He also linked honesty with character as he believed only truthfulness could give a person inner unity for strength of character as exampled when he becomes violent towards his son Raimond after he lied about the whereabouts of Romulus' aftershave. He was not concerned about his aftershave; he was scared for Raimond's character, as he knew he was telling a lie. Charity was another part of Romulus' morality, as he saw no point to having money in the bank. He sends Christina and Mitru money to save them from being evicted and he brings Lydia's mother and brother to Australia even after she breaks his heart and sends him into a period of insanity. Another key moral of Romulus' was integrity and throughout his life, he always managed to keep a good name- he was a good father to Raimond, he helped his fellow neighbours repair their farm equipment and his workmanship on his iron work was second to none. These morals helped contribute to leading a decent life, but so did his strong work ethic, which was consistent throughout the biography.Romulus believed that a strong work ethic was what defined people. It was what gave them their identity and character and he had no time for people who purely personality and who liked the finer things in life. He considered these people to be superficial and changeable and believed that only hard work showed real individuality. During his time in Australia, Romulus laboured, cleaned toilets, worked at the P&N factory, started a poultry farm, worked as a blacksmith and started his own business. At times he would work two jobs at a time or work overnight to provide for his wife and child and never complained about the amount of work he had to do. Not only did he have a solid work ethic, he was innovative, practical and persistent as shown when he repaired...

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