David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Medical Humanities 32 (4):325-337 (2011)
Blanche DuBois, the tragic heroine of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire , has always been read as either “mad” from the start of the play or as a character who descends into “madness.” We argue that Streetcar adumbrates elements of trauma theory, specifically symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder such as involuntary reliving of traumatic events, dissociation, guilt, shame, denial, the shattering of the self, the compulsion to repeat the story of trauma, as well as the early stages of recovery from trauma. We are the first to employ trauma theory as a critical framework through which to view Blanche and the dramaturgical devices used to concretize her post-traumatic state of mind. Williams’ heroine speaks from traumatic experience and not from psychic fabrications. Indeed, we contend that the play traces Blanche’s deliberate and self-conscious working through and mourning of the traumatic losses of the past, including her idealized, narcissistic conceptions of herself within a traumatic present. Thus she is more attuned to the most disturbing parts of reality and exhibits tragic insight born of traumatic experience. Critics who see Blanche as “mad” do not fully recognize her struggle to come to terms with trauma and loss within a culture of denial. We conclude that Streetcar stages the inextricable relation between the individual and social dialectics of trauma
|Keywords||Trauma Post-traumatic Mourning Williams Streetcar Blanche|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Gretchen Gusich (2012). A Phenomenology of Emotional Trauma: Around and About the Things Themselves. [REVIEW] Human Studies 35 (4):505-518.
Jennifer J. Freyd (1994). Betrayal Trauma: Traumatic Amnesia as an Adaptive Response to Childhood Abuse. Ethics and Behavior 4 (4):307 – 329.
Hiro Saito (2006). Reiterated Commemoration: Hiroshima as National Trauma. Sociological Theory 24 (4):353 - 376.
Mary Jeanne Larrabee (1995). The Time of Trauma: Husserl's Phenomenology and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. [REVIEW] Human Studies 18 (4):351 - 366.
Jennifer C. Schingle, A Disparate Impact on Female Veterans: The Unintended Consequences of Va Regulations Governing the Burdens of Proof for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Due to Combat and Military Sexual Trauma.
Mark Sherer, Tessa Hart, John Whyte, Toad G. Nick & Stuart A. Yablon (2005). Neuroanatomic Basis of Impaired Self-Awareness After Traumatic Brain Injury: Findings From Early Computed Tomography. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. Special Issue 20 (4):287-300.
Victoria Bates (2012). 'Misery Loves Company': Sexual Trauma, Psychoanalysis and the Market for Misery. [REVIEW] Journal of Medical Humanities 33 (2):61-81.
Tessa Hart, John Whyte, Junghoon Kim & Monica Vaccaro (2005). Executive Function and Self-Awareness of "Real-World" Behavior and Attention Deficits Following Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. Special Issue 20 (4):333-347.
Eric S. Nelson (2009). Traumatic Life: Violence, Pain, and Responsiveness in Heidegger. In Kristen Brown & Bettina Bergo (eds.), The Trauma Controversy: Philosophical and Interdisciplinary Dialogues. SUNY Press.
Elyse Amend, Linda Kay & Rosemary C. Reilly (2012). Journalism on the Spot: Ethical Dilemmas When Covering Trauma and the Implications for Journalism Education. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 27 (4):235-247.
Jennifer Erin Beste (2007). God and the Victim: Traumatic Intrusions on Grace and Freedom. Oxford University Press.
Robert G. Kunzendorf (2006). Universal Repression From Consciousness Versus Abnormal Dissociation From Self-Consciousness. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (5):523-524.
Rudolf Bernet (forthcoming). Le Sujet Traumatisé. Revue de Métaphysique Et de Morale.
Joseph T. Giacino & J. T. Whyte (2005). The Vegetative and Minimally Conscious States: Current Knowledge and Remaining Questions. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilation 20 (1):30-50.
Added to index2011-08-18
Total downloads7 ( #149,772 of 1,088,831 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #69,665 of 1,088,831 )
How can I increase my downloads?