Dialectic of Trauma in Kashmiri and African American Literature: A Comparative Study of Shahnaz Bashir and Toni Morrison
This paper seeks to examine the fictional works of two contemporary authors i.e. Shahnaz Bashir and Toni Morrison through the lens of trauma theory. The main argument is that both Bashir and Morrison use fiction as a means to articulate the traumatic history of their ostracized communities –Kashmiri and African American people respectively. One novel of each novelist, i.e The Half Mother (2014) and Beloved (1987) has been chosen for analysis. Utilizing the conceptual framework presented by Cathy Caruth, this research endeavors to explore how the trauma-hit protagonists, Haleema and Sethe, endure the havoc of troubled histories. The study attempts to see how far the flashback of the traumatic memories of Sethe and Haleema contribute to record the factual history of African Americans and Kashmiris. The secondary argument is that both novels are chiefly characterized with key tenets of trauma theory as the authors present the haunting pasts and hallucinations of the protagonists. The study first delineates trauma, and then goes on to focus on its critical aspects. It further explores how memory and history function in the selected works. Both authors belong to two different geographical locations but have used fiction to articulate historically traumatizing events. The research is interdisciplinary in nature as it draws upon the disciplines of literature, history and literary theory. In the works of Morrison and Bashir, literature functions as a site for an overdue representation of an unclaimed instant of trauma.
- 2022-03-30 (2)
- 2022-03-24 (1)
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 Fayaz Ahmad Kumar & Amina Ghazanfar
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.