Individuals who face traumatic experiences are to the adverse effects of their memories due to the unpredictable nature of their trauma. Trauma manifests itself in the individual without having adverse effects on those surrounding the victim. Yet, there exists unity between the community and the individual in finding a solution to the traumatic experiences. In “An Elephant Crackup”, Charles Siebert discusses impact that elephants afflicted by traumatic experiences have on a herd while Martha Stout shows how people attempt to keep their traumatic experiences contained and the negative effects of such method. A community that wishes to protect their tradition tends to have an adverse effect on the individual because they value the group over the individual. The opposite also holds true because a community that incorporates the troubled individual provides security under which the individual can recover from their trauma. A community that provides this emotional shelter while also allowing the victim to discover their own path in overcoming traumatic experiences. A community has a negative influence on troubled individuals because they would remove the individual to preserve the unity of the group. Victims of trauma cope with aggression, by acting out against the norms of their society, or by treating their trauma with indifference. The herd will inadvertently exert negative pressures on the individual so that they can maintain the safety of their entire group. In elephant
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Description: August is Marlena’s husband and the head animal trainer. He is alternately charming and brutal, both to the humans and animals aboard the Benzini Brothers train. Later in the book, it is explained that he is a paranoid schizophrenic.
Thesis: (Nature is the driving force of the world, with a part of this the animal kingdom; in particular; the elephant a majestic gentle giant with intellect, emotions, and so many amazing things that people should know.)( Elephants are beautiful, intelligent, and important animals that have so many fun things to learn about.)
In “Shooting an Elephant,” Orwell retold an occasion where he was struggling to come to a final decision of whether to shoot the elephant or not. With his final decision, the elephant finally lay dying in front of thousands of people. He said that he was forced to shoot it because the Burmese people were expecting him to do that. In addition, he also explained that he had to do it “to avoid looking like a fool” in front of the crowd (14). At first glance, one would think that it makes sense for him to kill the elephant to save his face, but that was not the case. He effectively uses this incident to demonstrate the “real nature of imperialism” (3), whereas the elephant represents the British Empire.
Human beings have full control over their identities after they have received knowledge and have become shaped from external stimuli. These stimuli include the teaching process of humans which comes through tradition, schooling, and the actions of other humans and the influence of the organisms around them. Andrew Solomon, through “Son,” was able to use his experience of growing up and labeling himself as a gay dyslexic to show how his environment and knowledge had shaped his identity and how it was viewed by others with different identities. In “An Elephant Crackup,” Charles Siebert was able to explain how the other organisms or humans are able to form new identities for elephants over time by shaping them a new environment and having the elephants process it. In “Mind’s Eye,” Oliver Sacks had different case studies of blindness from different people and was able to show how each one experienced their blindness help shape and express their individual identities. The stimuli that becomes processed by a person in the situations, accounts, and studies of these works assist in the role of explaining the formulation of an identity.
Historical trauma is a concept that refers to the wounding of generations due to traumatic experiences such as boarding schools, forced displacement, and genocide. Responses to this distress manifest in a number of social issues. For example, alcoholism and substance abuse could be recognized as attempts to numb unresolved grief. Other manifestations of emotional responses to this trauma include abuse, depression, domestic violence, and suicide. A framework for understanding the effects of historical trauma on communities is provided by Evans-Campbell (2008) in her article, “Historical Trauma in American Indian and Native American Communities”. These three levels include individual-level impacts, family-level impacts, and community-level impacts.
George Orwell’s 1930 short story “Shooting an Elephant,” demonstrates the total dangers of the unlimited authority a state has and the astounding presentment of “future dystopia”. In the story, Orwell finds himself to be in an intricate situation that involves an elephant. Not only does the fate of the elephant’s life lie in Orwell’s hands, he has an audience of people behind him cheering him on, making his decision much more difficult to make. Due to the vast crowd surrounding his thoughts, Orwell kills the elephant in the end, not wanting to disappoint the people of Burma. Orwell captures the hearts of readers by revealing the struggles he has while dealing with the burden of his own beliefs and morals.
In Martha Stout’s essay “When I Woke Up Tuesday Morning, It Was Friday”, she discusses how a person who has suffered a traumatic experience is most likely to dissociate their individual self from that situation and block it from their mind completely. This form of a solution allows the person to forget the experience and not feel the pain. In “Immune to Reality” Daniel Gilbert describes how every human being contains a psychological immune system, which works to shield us from horrible experiences that threaten our happiness. When experiencing a traumatic event, the psychological immune system responds by “cooking up the facts”, meaning taking the facts of the situation and turning the negative aspects of it into positive views. At first
A worldview is defined as a set of rules or principles that a person lives by. James Sire, author of Naming the Elephant, defines a worldview as “a set of presuppositions (assumptions which may be true, partially true or entirely false) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously, consistently or inconsistently) about the basic makeup of our world.” (*) Worldviews are fundamental to our living, as worldviews determine values and our corresponding actions to those values. a.
When analyzing social patterns and behaviors, is there a significant difference between the psychology of an individual and groups? Collective and individual behavior is surprisingly similar, and depending on the circumstances, identical. In Charles Siebert essay “An Elephant Crackup,” he validates to readers, through social elephant narratives and herd mentality theory, that similarly to an individual elephant all elephants behave in similar ways. Furthermore, Sherry Turkle in selections from her work Alone Together accounts
If you’re not paying attention, the mind can be a tricky labyrinth. The less you know about it, the more inexplicable and frightening it becomes. For example, why do seemingly benign elephants wreak havoc upon villages? In “An Elephant Crackup,” Charles Siebert explores the aberrant nature of these elephants and correlates them to their traumatizing upbringing, deprived of community and kinship. The biochemistry of the human mind, analyzed in “Love2.0” by Barbara Frederickson, serves as a worthy addendum to Siebert’s conjecture. “Love2.0” explains that the brain, hormones, and nerves work in unison to build emotional fortitude, stimulate oneself, and express positivity resonance. Siebert’s ideas of elephant culture and trans-species psyche can put Frederickson’s theory of emotions into practice. The absence of certain hormones within elephants, provided their fragmented community, can explain their volatile outbreaks. Alternatively, the reinstitution of human parental roles into elephant culture can help reconstruct their broken emotional states of elephants and rebuild their resilience; this healing process can also extend to humans.
Elephant has long been known as one of man’s best friends, who have peacefully coexisted along with humanity for thousands of years. However, the relationship between the two is no longer in the equilibrium state. In “An Elephant Crackup?”, Charles Siebert discusses the downfall of the elephants. He gives a depiction of the recent raging and violent acts of the elephants among themselves and toward other species, including humans, and presents an educated and almost unexpected explanation to their behaviors. He says elephants are just like us; they have feelings and now are “suffering from a form of chronic stress, a kind of species-wide trauma”(Siebert 354). The similarity that should be something fascinating is now slowly turning them into the immensely savage beasts before wiping them out of existence. Even when the appearance of the words “stress” and “trauma” looks like a serious case of “anthropocentric conjecture”, it provides a totally new vision, a fresh way of looking at the boiling issue of the disappearance and sadistic acts of elephants specifically and wild animals at large. With the help of two powerful essays: “Great to Watch” by Maggie Nelson and “The Power of Context” of Malcolm Gladwell, the issue of the unusual behaviors of the elephants is thoroughly illuminated and its solution no longer seems to be out of human’s reach.
“We are experiencing what is likely to be the greatest percentage loss of elephants in history,” said Richard G. Ruggiero, an official with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Ney York Times; December 3, 2012). The poaching of elephants started in the late 1800’s and is still happening today. People are slaughtering these majestic animals for their ivory tusks. Ivory has been sold on the black market for millions of dollars. Before the start of ivory poaching there were millions of elephants in the world in both Africa and India, but today because of the hunting for ivory, there are barely any of these giants left in the wild. Throughout history Europeans have been moving in on central African states to make
And those who have never experienced anything beyond these mild forms of fear usually fail to consider people who have gone through extreme situations. What about those where the trauma’s prolonged and the victim believes there’s no way out, such as the Native American children discussed in Andrea Smith’s Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide? For them, their fight or flight response remains disorganized, even after their returned to a safe environment, affecting the way their mind and body coincide in devastating ways. Dr. Herman goes on to outline the three
After living a certain lifestyle for an extended period of time, a sudden change in lifestyle abnormally envelops not only a society as a whole, but the individuals who live in that society. The psychological state of the indigenous people worsens due to the forced ideas of the colonizers mixing with their own, which can cause a rift in their thinking. A decision has to be made eventually; however, the colonizer typically tries his hardest to prevent them from making what he believes is the “wrong” decision. Although the colonizer appears to be helping the indigenous people, his true intentions are all but innocent. Due to their technological disadvantages, the colonizers have an advantage over the indigenous people, causing the previous existing people to feel undermined. Even after the colonizers leave, the colonized people continue to bear the scars left behind by the colonizers, as stated by Hayes who argues that, “Post Colonial Theory recognizes the trauma resulting from the alienation of indigenous people from their own land, even after achieving independence” (Hayes). Colonization leaves behind permanent psychological damage, even long after independence has been obtained.