I Know This is Scary: The Effects of Narratology on Trauma Fiction
Narrative fiction employs specific narrative choices and literary devices that allow for a depth of meaning conveyed by a text’s author. The same text’s meaning can be complicated by the text’s subject or focal points. When a text’s subject is traumatic, the author’s intended meaning is intensely complicated by two aspects of the text: the narratological choices—such as tense, point of view, and focalization—and the reflective state of the author—such as how far removed an author is from the subject, or how an author understands the lasting effects of a traumatic event on their life. Narrative fiction based on trauma illustrates complicated phenomenon and allows for profound individualized understanding—by both the author and reader—not found in any other form of media. I will illustrate this phenomenon by exploring the effects of narration on traumatic content through creative writing. Written through the perspectives of three different characters, the three short stories I’ve written recount a traumatic night of domestic violence that changed my family forever. Utilizing present-tense, first person narration as well as literary devices like focalization and analepses and prolepses, I hope to illustrate how deep one traumatic event can impact an individual’s life.
Ford, Claire, "I Know This is Scary: The Effects of Narratology on Trauma Fiction" (2020). 2020 Academic Exhibition. 16.
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