1. bookVolume 9 (2021): Issue 3 (December 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1339-4584
First Published
06 Mar 2015
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Between the urge to know and the need to deny: trauma and embodied memories in Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye (1988)

Published Online: 17 Feb 2022
Volume & Issue: Volume 9 (2021) - Issue 3 (December 2021)
Page range: 74 - 89
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
1339-4584
First Published
06 Mar 2015
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The study intends to explore and analyze the role of corporeality in expressing earlier repressed traumatic events as manifested in Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye (1988). It shows that the protagonist, Elaine Risley, is imprisoned within the prison of her traumatic past memories that still live involuntarily in her present, shaping her language and behavior. It equally reveals that the connection between the protagonist’s body and her conscious self is damaged due to overwhelming effects of her trauma; triggering her body to unconsciously project those traumatic memories. The study specifically examines how Atwood’s protagonist’s trauma returns through the cracks of her consciousness in a form of auditory and verbal hallucinations and dissociation from herself. In order to probe the connection between soma and trauma in Atwood’s novel, the study leans on a distillation of psychological theorizations; particularly Sigmund Freud’s emphasis on the somatic expression of trauma. Through a textual analysis of Atwood’s novel, the study highlights that trauma is responsible for the protagonist’s anxiety, fear and loss of language, seeking to examine how Atwood’s protagonist strives to heal from her earlier traumatic memories through different mediums including art.

Keywords

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