Traumatic Narratives and the Retrieval of the Self: A Cross-cultural Study of Bama’s "Karukku" and Toni Morrison’s "A Mercy"

By C. L. Shilaja.

Published by The International Journal of Literary Humanities

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 7, 2015 $US5.00

Sharing of experiences leads to the recovery of self that has been rendered voiceless and helpless. Bama’s and Toni Morrison’s novels both expose and explore the past injustices of casteism and racism by representing their painful memories. Literature which has reflected society’s experiences is utilized as a means to express the differing traumatic cultural experiences. Their novels are powerful tools of influence meant as a communal experience for their readers. The language of their novel affects readers according to their association. The novelists retrieve individual and collective stories of racial subjugation and cultural disintegration to speak about the experience of being Dalit and Afro-American. Such a process of reading is an emancipative and exploratory experience. Language has not only the power to heal and to comfort, but also to retrieve the experiences from oblivion. This paper attempts to focus on Bama’s and Toni Morrison’s use of language as a powerful tool in their novels to lull the pain both in their characters and the readers.

Keywords: Trauma Narrative, Self-Retrieval, Bama, Toni Morrison, Articulation

The International Journal of Literary Humanities, Volume 13, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.47-53. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 7, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 352.479KB)).

Dr. C. L. Shilaja

Associate Professor, Department of English, Sathyabama University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India