Date of Award

5-2020

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

English

Program

English

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr. Amy Hamilton

Abstract

This thesis argues that Judith Herman's theory of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can provide a lot of insight in analyzing the trauma of several characters in Linda Hogan’s Solar Storms and Eden Robinson’s Monkey Beach. The analysis first employs the two authors’ Native American ideas of trauma and then adds Herman’s theory of CPTSD to help bridge the gap between the Native American and Western cultures and to create more understanding without undermining cultural differences.

I chose Herman’s theory for my analysis because it has many commonalities with the Native American trauma theories such as belief in the fact that trauma can be ongoing and chronic and that it can have catastrophic consequences extending to multiple families, communities, and generations. The other reason that I believe Herman’s theory is a good fit for my exploration of the Native American characters in these two novels is because her ideas regarding healing and recovery come very close to Hogan and Robinson’s with these two authors’ emphasis on the importance of re-establishing lost familial and communal ties, resisting all forms of oppression, be it private or public, civil or political, and narrating one’s story of trauma and survival in order to situate it in the larger frame of the Native American peoples’ fight for justice and recognition.

Access Type

Open Access

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