Critical Analysis Of Forna's Novel '

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While Forna acknowledges the Western definition of trauma and the forged term of PTSD, her novel does figure as a critical examination of the key principles of Western trauma theory. Of particular value in this concerned analysis is the British psychologist, who as a foreigner is incapable of properly grasping the critical state that the country finds itself in. From the very beginning he blindly engages himself in the pains of his patients with ideas and theories he acquired in England, in an attempt to restore a certain ‘normality’ . However, Adrian’s definition of normality relies on ‘the order of his previous life’ and particularly on what Craps has condemned as trauma theory’s dependence upon particular Western understandings of the self, which define a mentally healthy individual as ‘unified, integrated, and whole’ and which imply the restoration of the fractured self and the disconnection in identity provoked by an intensely distressing incident . While Adrian’s previous life was defined by a daily routine that included a stable family life and a secure job, one has to ask oneself, what kind of normality can be restored after a conflict that has shattered the existing parameters of normalcy, going far beyond any subject’s control. As Attila has adequately pointed out: ‘You call it a disorder…we call it life’ . This statement bitingly reveals the rather blind and naive Western approach to trauma, epitomised in the figure of Adrian, in an extreme non-western

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