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Healing Trauma and Reasserting Identity through Remembrance in Joanne Fedler’s The Dreamcloth

Authors
  • Abdullah, Md Abu Shahid
Type
Published Article
Journal
Prague Journal of English Studies
Publisher
Walter de Gruyter GmbH
Publication Date
Jul 22, 2017
Volume
6
Issue
1
Pages
79–92
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/pjes-2017-0005
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

The aim of this article is to analyse the role of memory in generating, transmitting and coming to terms with trauma, and the importance of exploring history, and talking about and sharing traumatic events in the process of healing in Joan Fedler’s The Dreamcloth (2005). In the novel, Maya’s memories of her unrequited lesbian relationship with her beloved Rochel, oppression by the traditional structures of her family and Jewish community, her forced marriage with Yankel, and her being raped by him are responsible for her trauma on a personal level, whereas her forced relocation to South Africa in order to flee from the Holocaust is responsible for her trauma on a communal level. Mia, the protagonist and the grand-daughter of Maya, suffers from the transgenerational trauma of her grandmother, is haunted by her ghost, and also symbolically represents the traumatized Jewish community. She cannot relate to her own Jewish South African identity and thus tries to avoid being reminded of her historical background. Mia recovers from her trauma by exploring her history, solving the riddles of the past and sharing the traumatic memories of the past.

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