The Ghost/Past that Haunts: Trauma, Memory and Identity in Amy Tan’s The Bonesetter’s Daughter
|Keywords:||譚恩美;《接骨師的女兒》;創傷;記憶;認同;Amy Tan;trauma;memory;identity||Issue Date:||2007||Abstract:||null
This thesis considers the implications of the ghost metaphor as a form of connection between the past and the present, asks what such an idea of ghost might mean in the specific context of traumatic histories, and, finally, assesses how memory, no matter the denial of memory or the reconstruction of memory, works to shape both female protagonists’ identity. These questions will be explored in the context of researches on trauma and memory, framing a novel that connects the completion of creative production with the narrative resolution of traumatic silence. The Introduction opens with a discussion on the distinctions between conventional ghost stories and stories of cultural haunting, the relevant contextual background, and how the ghost operating as a personified figure of the traumatic past influences the reconstruction of memory and ethnic identity. Chapter One establishes the primary theoretical foundation in order to support the reading of The Bonesetter’s Daughter whereas Chapter Two looks into LuLing’s dementia, which on the one hand relieves the pain of distressing memories, allowing LuLing to forgive herself by forgetting her remorse and grief for the past, and reverses the mother-daughter relationship on the other hand. Chapter Three illustrates how Ruth struggles in American culture as a Chinese-American descendant, and how she reexamines her own ethnicity with full understanding by means of remembering the past. The Conclusion raises some unresolved conflicts in The Bonesetter’s Daughter. These unresolved problems not only expose Tan’s limited concerns but also imply the impossibility of the recovery from trauma. It is difficult to reconcile a complete recovery because the trauma is still waiting to return. Both LuLing’s and Ruth’s identity must be continuously reconstructed because identity is grounded in memory that was and is always challenged by the past and the confusing new realities.
|Appears in Collections:||外國語文學系|
Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.