Laurie Halse Anderosn has written a book which is considered as a trauma novel “speak”. Usually anger is a phase that begins with madness and ends with regret, but in this book anger will be tackled in different way, Melinda’s anger starts with silence and ends with speaking. In other words it’s starts with fear and ends with triumph over self. Over the course of the novel silence struggling with anger is leading to speak. Anderson incorporated all themes in anger direction with different techniques such as flashback, allusion, symbolism, and fragmentation.
As Alice was going through major hell during the rape and even after the rape, it seemed as it was not taken seriously by others. Alice describes her pain, fears, and many problems that came along the way when it came for fighting for herself and the after effect of the rape. Being a rape victim was not easy, and Alice showed many signals that she needed more than just comfort, but sadly many of them failed to provide that for her.
A traumatic event can impact a life forever. When a person goes through a devastating occurrence, they will often distance themselves both physically and emotionally from everything they once knew. In the novel The Assault by Harry Mulisch, the interaction between violence and distance is examined through the character of Anton. The story begins with an event that will define the rest of Anton’s life: the murder of Fake Ploeg, which leads to the burning of Anton’s family’s house and the deaths of his family members. Such a violent event is sure to impact Anton, yet over the rest of his life, he remains emotionally distant. Throughout the novel, Mulisch demonstrates that the interaction between violence and distance is shaped by avoidance. This avoidance is exemplified in Anton’s evasion of memory, emotional response, and care.
In Susan Farrell, the author of “Just Listen”: Witnessing Trauma in Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, mentioned “...all theorists agree that the process of recovery from trauma must involve a narrativization of traumatic event--putting a sensory images into words in order to integrate trauma into a person 's life story” (186). However, without reading Cathy Caruth’s Trauma, readers will not understand that not only integrating trauma into a narrative will help them recover but it also allows the witness apprehend their flashbacks into meaning. Flashbacks, although are taunting, has the most vivid images compared to narrated memories. For one to remember a highlight or a significant moment, one must preserve it as a flashback. In The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien convert his flashbacks into narrative memories allowing himself and readers to comprehend his experiences, but O’Brien also added flashbacks into his memories create the most graphic images for the readers.
“After a traumatic experience, the human system of self preservation seems to go into permanent alert, as if the danger might return at any moment” (Judith Lewis Herman). The psychoanalyst Lewis Herman describes how encountering agonizing pain causes individuals to become more cautious as a result. The psychoanalytic lens is based on Freudian theories and asserts that “ people’s behavior is affected by their unconscious:...the notion that human beings are motivated, even driven, by desire, fears, needs, and conflicts of which they are unaware…” (Tyson 14-15) High schools a place where tragedy are brought upon people, but their voices aren’t heard. Melinda, a high school freshman, is the protagonist in Laurie Halse Anderson’s book, Speak.
One scary night, Jennifer was going through an event where her body was taken by force in the book, “Picking Cotton”. Would you be able to pick out a face from a line up? The biggest issue is putting together the puzzle pieces of the crime that took place when you’re the one who is experiencing the traumatic event. We all have been scared before but, if you really think about it do you really see the small details or the big picture? The law enforcement works hard to make sure common mistakes don’t take place during these investigations and assure we don’t send away the wrong person away for the crime. After, attending a seminar at Somerset Community College on February 7, 2017, we can now understand a little more about memory and how’s it’s processed during a traumatic event while also, learning about Jennifer’s story.
A trait that stands out in the book is the symptom of bodily memories. In Melinda’s case, during a frog dissection in her science class, she remembers the opening up and even says, “She doesn’t say a word. She is already dead. A scream starts in my gut – I can feel the cut, smell the dirt, feel the leaves in my hair.” (81). One of the other symptoms that Melinda has is self-harm. The first time that this is shown in the book, Melinda says this, “I open up a paper clip and scratch it across the inside of my left wrist. Pitiful. If a suicide attempt is a cry for help, then what is this? A whimper, a peep?” (87). Melinda also has a hard time talking to her parents about the rape to which she says, “How can I talk to them about that night? How can I start?” (72). Some victims recover from such a traumatic experience, while others don’t and live a lifetime of depression and must undergo intense therapy. In Melinda’s case, she finds redemption by talking to her parents and the guidance counselor, and putting her faith into her teachers, friends, and her art project at school. Because rape can affect anybody anywhere, everyone should be aware of the circumstances, and how to deal with it.
Susan Griffin, a feminist writer and finalist for the Pulitzer Price in non-fiction, explores the concept of forgetting in her chapter “Our Secret”. Unlike Foer, Griffin (1992) doesn’t seem to be too much a fan of remembering, describing memory to be like “a long, half-lit tunnel, a tunnel where one is likely to encounter phantoms of a self, long concealed, no longer nourished with the force of consciousness, existing in a tortured state between life and death” (p. 258). In fact, Griffin might argue that there are several benefits to forgetting, and that the collective memories of a traumatic past should not be remembered or preserved. Failure to retrieve memories may not always be a bad thing, in fact, unwanted memories – of childhood trauma, emotional rejection, or any of life’s inevitable disappointments - have the ability to torment and mentally exhaust a person. Throughout her essay, Griffin explores the hidden shame and pains that several characters carry, herself included, and the consequences they bring. She writes of one woman’s memories of the cold war, who, as a young child, witnessed “shoes in great piles. Bones. Women’s hair, clothes, stains, a terrible odor”, all of which left her sobbing and screaming in fear (Griffin, 1992, p. 233). Another gruesome account Griffin (1992) writes of, is as
The death of a loved one can result in a trauma where the painful experience causes a psychological scar. Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones explores the different ways in which people process grief when they lose a loved one. When young Susie Salmon is killed on her way home from school, the remaining four members of her family all deal differently with their grief. After Susie’s death, her mother, Abigail Salmon, endures the adversity of losing her daughter, her family collapsing, and accepting the loss of the life she never had the opportunity to live. Abigail uses Freud’s defence mechanisms to repress wounds, fears, her guilty desires, and to resolve conflicts, which results in her alienation and
Some might be outraged at the notion that rape is not to be considered a tragedy. It is, of course, a horrific act. One that inflicts so much damage that it can cause PTSD type triggers in survivors. Rape is a before/after moment, people who experience it begin to think of how life was before and now after the event. For instance, with the character Salima, her life before the incident included a loving family with her “good husband” (35) and
Repression of memories is a psychological concept that has haunted modern psychology for years. Repression of memories also known as “rememory” defined by the mind pushing away traumatic or shocking experiences into a dark corner of a person’s unconscious. As this idea developed and began to be studied more thoroughly, slavery became an institution in which researchers saw promise in drawing conclusions about the dangers of repressing memories. In Toni Morrison’s novel, Beloved, the character narratives of Paul D and Sethe exemplify the dangers of repressing memories. Both disconnect from and push away unwanted emotional traumas or experiences from their past. However, this effort doesn’t pay off and their repression of memories is not successful. Through the use of symbols such as Paul D’s tobacco tin and Sethe’s scars and lost child, Morrison demonstrates how repression of the past isn’t effective and how it always comes back to haunt a person who doesn’t correctly cope with their trauma. Paul D and Sethe live unfulfilled lives as a result of repressed memories.
Although a light read, her experience is heart-breaking as she is abused at home, institutionalized, and instead of being treated for her depression, doctor’s attempt to “feminize” her with eye shadow and lipstick. She is the type of advocate that makes noise in a silence because she tells a tale that would otherwise be unknown.
Others, though, may not be able to cope; their experience may be more haunting or terrifying than others. Each individual expresses situations in different forms; some of us are weaker and unable to control the vivid intrusive memories of the incident. The impression appears at any time, apparently unprovoked, and they interfere with their daily
In the book Breath Eyes Memory by Edwin Dedicat, Sophie lived in a time and place where there were significant societal issues. As pertains to Haiti, genders are not seen as equal with women put under pressure to conform to the masculine idea of what a female should look and act like. In the book, a woman’s fingers symbolize her purpose in life, with each of her ten fingers representing a different role, such as loving and washing. Sophie’s aunt, Tante Atie, reflects on this stating, “The men in this area, they insist that their women are virgins and have ten fingers… Sometimes, she even wished she had six fingers on each hand so she could have two left for herself,” (Danticat 151). The social standards of women, such as Tante Atie, are causing them to conform to the masculine ideal. The roles assigned to the women revolve around caring for men’s needs, leaving them with little time and opportunities for their own wants and needs. In wishing she had two fingers to herself, Tante is showing that she feels like she doesn’t have control over her own life and can’t do as she pleases in Haiti’s civilization. In this male dominated society, women have little power, causing Tante Atie, Sophie, and other women like them to struggle to succeed and support themselves without the contribution of a male figure. In addition to women in Haiti having little power, their civilization created a hostile environment for the women of the country. During Tante Atie’s time in the