A Study of Historical Trauma and Survivance in Orange’s There There
Published: 27 April 2022
Pakistan Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences , Volume 10, pp 720–729-720–729; https://doi.org/10.52131/pjhss.2022.1002.0237
Abstract: For the past five hundred years, Native Americans have been subjected to bloodshed, violence, and dislocation at the hands of the Euro-American colonisers. The trauma experienced by Native Americans over the years has been passed on to succeeding generations, leading them to resort to drug abuse, violence, isolation, and suicide. They have resisted the onslaught of their culture and civilization by reclaiming their traditions and ceremonies. There There by Tommy Orange underscores the violent legacy of Euro-American colonization and the subsequent endeavours by Native Americans to defy absence and erasure and ensure their visibility and presence. Orange depicts the ways historical trauma impacts the lives of Native Americans and demonstrates various strategies of survivance they have adopted in the face of this trauma. The theoretical framework of the study is based on the theory of historical trauma by Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart and the theory of survivance by Gerald Vizenor. Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart defines historical trauma as the collective emotional wounding that spans generations and leads to anger, suicidal tendencies, and depression. Anishinaabe theorist Gerald Vizenor describes survivance as active survival in which modern-day Native Americans adapt to contemporary times while still adhering to their traditions and customs. The findings of the textual analysis of this research demonstrate Native American anguish and suffering as a result of centuries of colonization and their efforts to safeguard communal survival. The paper encapsulates the historical trauma experienced by modern-day Native Americans residing in urban locales and underscores their endeavors to preserve their culture despite obstacles.
Keywords: survivance / Horse / Native Americans / historical trauma / trauma experienced / colonization / suicidal
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