Date of Award

4-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

English

Program

English

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr. Lisa Eckert

Abstract

This project specifically examines three narratives that are part of the genre of Holocaust Literature: Elie Wiesel’s Night, Art Spiegelman’s Maus, and John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pajamas and the way in which each of these texts contributes to collective Holocaust memory and traumatic literature: as a memoir, graphic novel, and work of fiction, respectively. The paper draws on Anne Whitehead’s work on memory, as well as other trauma and memory theorists: Cathy Caruth, Pierre Nora, Maurice Halbwachs, and Marianne Hirsch to offer a close rhetorical and structural analysis of each text analyzed through a traumatic theoretical lens.

This thesis discusses the intersection of pedagogy and theory, highlighting the importance of Holocaust trauma as a topic in the high school classroom. Using criteria borrowed from The Call of Memory: Learning about the Holocaust through Narrative: An Anthology, the merits of using each of the three texts in the classroom respectively will be considered. The perspective each of the individual texts brings to collective memory will be analyzed, as well as the uses and limits of each of these particular texts as representations of trauma.

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