Memory Of Love Analysis

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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…show more content…
A major emphasis is placed on endurance and love as constructive ways of limiting its the manifestation. The centrality of love in the novel is not only underlined through its figuring in the very title The Memory of Love but love and more particularly physical contact are portrayed almost as antidotes to violence and the pain it causes. Faced with the increasing threat of an armed fight between governmental and rebel forces, Nenebah and Kai experience an unprecedented affection for ‘war gave new intensity to their lovemaking’ . In this respect, love and the act of lovemaking not only offer unique vehicles for dealing with pain in an extraordinary situation where words don’t seem enough to grasp the scale of it, but sexual encounters are also reframed as a form of resistance. Even Adrian, not expecting to find love in this country, sees himself increasingly attracted to Mamakay as he progressively acknowledges the traumatic state of the country. Love, the most human and unconditional emotion between individuals, takes place in defiance of, or more fundamentally, because of the inhumanity of…show more content…
As it has been discussed, the novel both embraces key principles of trauma theory, acknowledging Caruth’s definition of trauma as a historical crisis. Yet, it is nevertheless utterly ambiguous about the latter’s claim of the inaccessibility of psychological pain and its resistance to language with Agnes, as the symbol of trauma, unable to verbalize her pain. Most valuable in Forna’s critique is the character of a British Psychologist who helplessly approaches the overwhelming traumatic state that Sierra Leone finds itself in, convinced that psychotherapy is the only way to bring relief to this war-torn nation and thereby disregards alternative methods of coping with pain that the novel might advocate. However, one cannot overlook that Adrian is successful in diagnosing Agnes with fugue, despite his rather questionable relationship to her, plunging into a compulsive interest with her case. Most importantly, Forna considers it, just as many other writers, as her moral duty to unravel this painful history to finally bring to light unscathed injustices, which cannot simply be consigned to the past. As John Green in his
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