Academic journal article Studies in Literature and Language

Nada Jarrar's A Good Land: A Multilateral Trauma

Academic journal article Studies in Literature and Language

Nada Jarrar's A Good Land: A Multilateral Trauma

Article excerpt

Abstract

Trauma is not restricted to a particular place or a particular time. War memories intrude all nations and traumatize them. Following the crisis of the civil war in Lebanon, the invasion upon Palestine, the misery of Holocaust, and the wretchedness of World War II, many literary texts tackle them to show the traumatic experience of the individual. A Good Land by Nada Jarrar describes different traumatized nations and shows how the effect of trauma is one upon many individuals from different backgrounds. This research sets out to prove that the three different characters in the novel suffer from trauma. Kamal represents the Palestinian traumatic experience, Laila represents the Lebanese traumatic experience, and Margo represents the Jewish traumatic experience. This study focuses on the basic concepts of trauma. It shows how trauma affects identity. In addition, it displays the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and examines how different characters present different symptoms.

The research discusses the novel's thematic representation of trauma. It focuses on trauma theory specifically the idea of ''acting out'' that is explained by Dominick LaCapra and Cathy Caruth. Moreover, the study shows the impact of trauma on identity through using the work of Dolores Herrero and Sonia Baelo-Allué. Eventually, this research sets out to prove the possibility of representing trauma in A Good Land by Nada Jarrar.

Key words: Trauma; Lebanon; Palestine; The holocaust

INTRODUCTION

A Good land is considered one of the first literary attempts to portray the Israeli aggression on Lebanon in the summer of 2006. It portrays the damage that affected the Lebanese people as a result of the aggression. The novel shows that the woe the Lebanese people passed and still passing as a result of the aggression is not much different from the mass genocide the Jews witnessed by the Nazi regime during the Second World War as well as the aggression the Palestinians witnessed by the Israeli occupation in 1984. In other words, in A Good Land, which was written originally in English, the writer shows that the human suffering, even when happens in different locations and times, is linked together and does not distinguish between people according to their religions, races and homelands.

A war environment is rife with opportunities for exposure to traumatic events of many types. War is neither restricted to a specific place nor a specific time. Therefore, trauma is not confined to a specific region, religion, race or origin. It penetrates anyone who is exposed to a harsh war experience.

Many literary texts encompass many topics as the events of wars and their effects on the individual's psychology and physiology. A Good Land which is a novel by Nada Jarrar, who was born in Lebanon to a Lebanese father and Australian mother, represents war as a universal phenomenon that perforates nations' psych and traumatizes them. War damages the external and internal life of the individuals. In addition, this novel gathers the victims who are from different origins in Lebanon. They have been exposed to a cruel past that is full of wars, loss, bombardments, killings and massacres. The novel conflates Kamal, Laila, and Margo who represent diverse types of traumatic experiences. Kamal represents the Palestinians traumatic experience, Laila represents the Lebanese traumatic experience and Margo represents the Jewish traumatic experience.

1. MAIN TEXT

A Good Land seeks to achieve a dual aim. On one hand, the novel portrays the suffering of the Lebanese people as a result of the repeated Israeli aggressions on Lebanon through portraying the negative effects of these aggressions on the daily life of the citizens. On the other hand, the events of the novel to ensure the connection of the human fate in all places and times and events. The suffering of both the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples as a result of the repeated Israeli aggressions is not different from the Jews' suffering during the Second World War on the hands of the Nazi regime. …

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