St Teresa And Mary Rolandson Research Essay

St. Teresa And Mary Rolandson Essay, Research Paper

Mary Rowlandson and St. Teresa:

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Analyzed Through Dori Laub & # 8217 ; s & # 8216 ; Collapse of Witnessing & # 8217 ;

Dori Laub, writer of, & # 8220 ; Testimony: Crisiss of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis, and History & # 8221 ; , discusses a construct of lost experiences referred to as the & # 8216 ; prostration of witnessing & # 8217 ; . The & # 8216 ; prostration of witnessing & # 8217 ; is the thought that a individual can witness an event and yet at the same clip non truly witness it at all. Through the analysis of Laub & # 8217 ; s & # 8216 ; prostration of witnessing & # 8217 ; , a connexion can be seen between St. Teresa and Mary Rowlandson. St. Teresa is a nun that devotes her life to God, while Mary Rowlandson is the married woman of a curate that is taken confined by Indians. They both have missed experiences and/or state of affairss of the & # 8216 ; prostration of witnessing & # 8217 ; . A traumatic event that can non be understood, can non be mastered, and can non be incorporated in the societal, frequently times besides, can non be witnessed. This & # 8216 ; prostration of informant & # 8217 ; can be seen in both The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila by Herself and The True History of the Captivity of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson ; and the & # 8216 ; prostration of informant & # 8217 ; can be used as a tool to link these two injury texts.

Harmonizing to Dori Laub there are, & # 8220 ; three offprint, distinguishable degrees of witnessing & # 8221 ; ( Laub 75 ) . These three degrees are, & # 8220 ; the degree of being a informant to oneself within the experience ; the degree of being a informant to the testimonies of others ; and the degree of being a informant to the procedure of witnessing itself & # 8221 ; ( Laub 75 ) . The & # 8216 ; prostration of witnessing & # 8217 ; is how in relation to trauma, many times a individual can non witness the event because the event is beyond the kingdom of the societal. & # 8220 ; The events [ that ] are remembered and seem to hold been experienced in a manner that [ is ] far beyond the normal capacity for callback & # 8221 ; are the events, harmonizing to Laub, that frequently succumb to the & # 8216 ; prostration of the informant & # 8217 ; ( Laub 76 ) .

A individual that experiences a traumatic event has problem, in many ways, witnessing the event even though they were physically at that place. This relates to the construct that injury and traumatic events can non be incorporated into the mainstream of the societal. Peoples can non get the hang the construct and hence can non integrate the event into their mundane life and mundane apprehension. Laub says, & # 8220 ; the loss of the capacity to be a informant to oneself and therefore to witness from the interior is possibly the true significance of obliteration, for when one & # 8217 ; s history is abolished one & # 8217 ; s individuality ceases to be as good & # 8221 ; ( Laub 82 ) . In other words, people have trouble being a informant, but by non admiting the traumatic event, by the & # 8216 ; prostration of the informant & # 8217 ; , it is really the prostration of that individual & # 8217 ; s individuality. Therefore there is a changeless battle to non hold a & # 8216 ; prostration of informant & # 8217 ; in order to non lose one & # 8217 ; s individuality, but besides to non be a informant in order non to hold to confront the injury.

The & # 8216 ; prostration of informant & # 8217 ; of a individual that has physically experienced a traumatic event can be connected to the latency period discussed by Caruth. The latency period, as defined by Caruth, is the period, & # 8220 ; during which the effects of the experience are non evident & # 8221 ; ( Caruth 7 ) . Harmonizing to Caruth, people can non ever recognize the consequence that an event may hold had on them. The period of clip from which the event really took topographic point and any mark of consequence from the event, may be a clip where a individual may undervalue the effects of the event. The significance of this is that the latency is, & # 8220 ; what exactly preserves the event in its literality & # 8221 ; ( Caruth 8 ) . The latency period is what causes the event to be imbedded into one & # 8217 ; s mind everlastingly. The latency period, likewise to the & # 8216 ; prostration of a informant & # 8217 ; , is a period of clip when a individual may take non to retrieve and/or succumb to the traumatic event because the recognition of it may be merely as traumatising if non more traumatizing so really populating through it.

At, & # 8220 ; the degree of being a informant to the testimonies of others & # 8221 ; people still frequently have a & # 8216 ; prostration of witnessing & # 8217 ; regardless of the fact that they themselves did non physically see the event ( Laub 75 ) . The individual listening to the testimony has the challenge of being, & # 8220 ; portion of the battle to travel beyond the event and non be submerged and lost in it & # 8221 ; ( Laub 76 ) . This is hard because the individual that is listening to another individual relive their traumatic experience is really live overing the event with them. Equally hard as it is for the physical informant to live over their event and attest to being a, & # 8220 ; witness within the experience & # 8221 ; the hearer has to be a informant of the testimony of another ( Laub 75 ) . Caruth says, & # 8220 ; the challenge of [ for ] the curative hearer & # 8230 ; is how to listen to the going & # 8221 ; and, & # 8220 ; to listen to the crisis of a injury, that is, is non merely to listen for the event, but to hear in the testimony the subsister & # 8217 ; s going from it & # 8221 ; ( Caruth 10 ) . Both people are capable to the & # 8216 ; prostration of witnessing & # 8217 ; . Neither wants to believe the truth of the event or effort to integrate it into the kingdom of their societal. Both are fighting to give up to the injury and the relation of the injury and traveling past the event.

At the 3rd degree of witnessing there is yet another chance for the & # 8216 ; prostration of witnessing & # 8217 ; to take topographic point. At the 3rd degree of witnessing both the physical informant and the informant of the testimony are working together to happen a Truth. Laub says, & # 8220 ; the traumatic experience has usually long been submerged and has become distorted in its submergence & # 8221 ; ( Laub 76 ) . The Truth that is seeking to be attained is tangled within the deformation of the traumatic event within the physical informant & # 8217 ; s societal. The & # 8216 ; prostration of witnessing & # 8217 ; can be seen once more as a individual tries to be a informant of deformation instead so of the Truth. The Truth is more hard to be a informant of because it is non what a individual needfully wants to believe, but it is what really was and is.

In The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila by Herself, St. Teresa devoted herself to God from the age of 21 old ages frontward. She was separated from her household and forced to populate a life that incorporated many unaccountable & # 8216 ; favours & # 8217 ; from God. These & # 8216 ; favours & # 8217 ; were frequently considered traumatic because of their long-run effects and because they about ever could non be incorporated into the kingdom of apprehension of mundane life. These & # 8216 ; favours & # 8217 ; were delivered in ways that can be described as inordinate jouissance. Jouissance is inordinate pleasance, nevertheless harmonizing to Freud & # 8217 ; s pleasance rule, inordinate pleasance would be an consequence of unpleasure and inordinate unpleasure can be traumatic. A individual needs to hold a certain sum of pleasance in order to map. The pleasance rule is what imposes world and unpleasures upon a individual & # 8217 ; s ideas and actions. If there is inordinate unpleasure and the pleasance rule does non work to antagonize this extra it can be traumatic for the individual. The inordinate jouissance was physically seen in unmanageable climaxs, which Teresa was unable to command. Teresa believed at first that the climaxs were sent to her by the Satan, as she says, & # 8220 ; the Satan plunged me into a religious conflict one time more & # 8221 ; ( Teresa 267 ) . However, she realized and & # 8220 ; resolved to endure most volitionally all the Lord might be pleased to direct [ her ] & # 8221 ; for & # 8220 ; he showed [ her ] ways of doing certain that these visions were non of the Satan & # 8221 ; ( Teresa 265, 207 ) . These multiple and unmanageable climaxs were traumatic for Teresa on many degrees. However, Teresa did non recognize the consequence of these & # 8216 ; favours & # 8217 ; until after they had stopped. Teresa said, & # 8220 ; from that twenty-four hours onwards I have lo

oked on everything that is non directed to God’s service as amour propre and lies” ( Teresa 306 ) . It took Teresa many old ages to be a ‘witness’ to the events that had taken topographic point in her life and to come to the realisation that she must give her life to God. There was a ‘collapse of witness’ because of how traumatic God’s ‘favours’ were for her. In add-on, Teresa’s followings and adherents of the church had to digest ‘witnessing’ Teresa’s injury every bit good. Those that witnessed what was go oning to Teresa both seeing it and hearing about it had to digest non being able to integrate these experiences into their societal. The other people of the church experience the, “the degree of being a informant to the testimonies of others” ( Laub 75 ) . These followings and adherents of Teresa and the church had to digest populating through the relation and the ‘witnessing’ of Teresa’s traumatic experiences. The inability to get the hang the construct of what was go oning to St. Teresa caused these ‘others’ to hold a ‘collapse of witnessing’ in respects to hearing the testimony of Teresa and her experiences.

Teresa & # 8217 ; s faced the existent & # 8216 ; witnessing & # 8217 ; of her injury throughout the authorship of her autobiographical text. It was when she wrote the text itself that she foremost realized, to the extent, what she had experienced. This is similar to Ota Yoko. Ota besides was forced to recognize the injury of the atomic bomb through her authorship. Ota had a lost experience, in the sense that she did non recognize the effects of the bomb until she realized that she could non adequately compose about it. She was forced to be a & # 8216 ; witness & # 8217 ; to the bombardment in order to compose about it. There was a & # 8216 ; prostration of witnessing & # 8217 ; , a prostration of understanding as these traumatic events were taking topographic point in Ota and Teresa & # 8217 ; s life. As Teresa wrote and was forced to confront the traumatic experiences as they were, she was forced to confront the Truth. It is the facing of this Truth that forced her to be a & # 8216 ; witness & # 8217 ; to the existent traumatic events of her life.

Similarly to Teresa, Mary Rowlandson faced the existent & # 8216 ; witnessing & # 8217 ; of her injury through the authorship of her autobiographical text. Throughout the relation of her narrative, Rowlandson is forced to confront the Truth of the traumatic experience she endured. However, it was merely through the authorship that Rowlandson wholly was able to come to footings with what she went through and the consequence that it had on her life. Rowlandson says, & # 8220 ; If problem from smaller affairs begin to originate in me & # 8230 ; [ I ] say, it was but the other twenty-four hours, that if I had the universe, I would hold given it for my Freedom & # 8221 ; ( Rowlandson 69 ) . It is non until the last page of her text that Rowlandson acknowledges the Truth and faces the extent of her injury. The & # 8216 ; witnessing & # 8217 ; of her injury did non take topographic point as she was traveling through the traumatic period of her life, but alternatively, when she was composing about the events after they had already happened.

Rowlandson suffered the & # 8216 ; prostration of informant & # 8217 ; on all three degrees that one can see the & # 8216 ; prostration of informant & # 8217 ; . Rowlandson was separated from her household, taken prisoner by Indians ( a group of people whom she felt were barbarians ) , and thrown into a life of pseudo-slavery from the respectful life of a curate & # 8217 ; s married woman. Rowlandson faced the & # 8216 ; prostration of witnessing & # 8217 ; on the degree of & # 8220 ; being a informant to oneself within the experience & # 8221 ; ( Laub 75 ) . She physically suffered through the, & # 8220 ; dangerous Captivity & # 8230 ; [ and ] several Removes & # 8230 ; up and down the Wilderness & # 8221 ; ( Rowlandson 28 ) . Although she was at that place, she was non at that place on the degree of understanding. The Removes and Captivity were beyond the kingdom of the societal for Rowlandson. She was unable to & # 8216 ; witness & # 8217 ; the injury because she was unable to integrate the events into her apprehension.

Again Rowlandson experienced a & # 8216 ; prostration of informant & # 8217 ; , nevertheless now on a degree of, & # 8220 ; the degree of being a informant to the testimonies of others & # 8221 ; . Rowlandson, several times throughout her text, was forced to her the narratives of her boy and narratives of rumor about her hubby and other kids. It was through these awful brushs of information that Rowlandson could non be a & # 8216 ; witness & # 8217 ; to the injury that her loved 1s were digesting in add-on to her ain injury. Rowlandson & # 8217 ; s boy came to see her and she, & # 8220 ; asked his Maser to allow him remain a piece with me, that I might comb his caput, and look over him, for he was about overcome with lice & # 8221 ; ( Rowlandson 48 ) . Rowlandson could non cover with seeing her boy this manner and listen to him depict his ain injury that he had to digest and go on to digest. Rowlandson had a & # 8216 ; prostration of informant & # 8217 ; in order to go on lasting. If she was to take in everything that was go oning to her and her boy and her household, and & # 8216 ; witness & # 8217 ; the experiences for what they truly were she would be unable to last.

Furthermore, Rowlandson experienced, & # 8220 ; the degree of being a informant to the procedure of witnessing itself & # 8221 ; ( Laub 75 ) . Rowlandson, merely as Teresa, was a informant to the procedure of witnessing through her authorship. Necessitating to achieve the Truth came through the authorship of the texts, but at that place was foremost a & # 8216 ; prostration of witnessing & # 8217 ; and a haziness of what the Truth was. However, Rowlandson besides experienced a & # 8216 ; prostration of informant & # 8217 ; on the degree of, & # 8220 ; being a informant to the procedure of witnessing itself & # 8221 ; in another regard. She was cut off from the societal of which she was used to and subsequently thrown back into that same societal but with a new position on all that lays before her. Specifying the societal as everything to which Rowlandson is accustomed to and survived on, we can she was wholly cut off. She had her society, position, household, values, and prestige ripped out from under her, as she became cultured in a new universe, a new societal and a new paternal order. Through life through this extreme, traumatic alteration in her life manner, Rowlandson shows many marks of Melancholia. Melancholia, as defined by Freud, is & # 8220 ; a loss of a more ideal sort & # 8221 ; ( Freud 245 ) . It is an object that has non, & # 8220 ; really died, but has been lost as an object of love & # 8221 ; ( Freud 245 ) . In add-on, melancholia brings on the feelings of the loss of self-regard, self-esteem, and self-respect. These symptoms are clearly seen in Mary Rowlandson throughout her injury and accommodation to the societal, which was sprung upon her as the Indians took her prisoner. It is because Rowlandson is so aggressively cut off from her societal and the paternal order of which she knows that she experiences melancholia. It is at the clip of reentering the societal which she knows, when she is sold back to her hubby, that she realizes what she has been through and becomes a & # 8216 ; witness & # 8217 ; to non merely the injury which she faced but the Truth to the procedure of witnessing. Rowlandson realized why it was of importance to be the informant to both the sociables from which she was originally from and the societal from which she endured injury for 11 hebdomads and five yearss. It is at this point that we can clearly see why there was a & # 8216 ; prostration of informant & # 8217 ; to the procedure of witnessing and why Rowlandson chose and was forced to be a & # 8216 ; witness & # 8217 ; on all degrees.

Both Rowlandson and Teresa are illustrations of the & # 8216 ; prostration of witnessing & # 8217 ; but besides of the eventual & # 8216 ; witnessing & # 8217 ; of the traumatic events of their lives. It is of import to be cognizant of the other constructs that tie into Teresa and Rowlandson & # 8217 ; s & # 8216 ; prostration of witnessing & # 8217 ; . Latency and melancholia play a portion in Teresa and Rowlandson & # 8217 ; s & # 8216 ; prostration of witnessing & # 8217 ; , severally. These constructs intertwine with Laub & # 8217 ; s theory of & # 8216 ; prostration of witnessing & # 8217 ; to demo a clear connexion between The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila by Herself and The True History of the Captivity of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson.

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