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The Decoding of Letters from Home from the Perspective of Trauma Theory

Author HuYingHui
Tutor WangShengLi
School Zhengzhou University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords McMorris Letters from Home trauma theory trauma recovery
CLC I712.074
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
Downloads 34
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The contemporary American woman writer Kristina McMorris (1975--) has published three full-length novels taking WWⅡ as their background:Letters from Home, Bridge of Scarlet Leaves and A Winter Wonderland. The three novels which all take love as its theme vividly display the emotional entanglements among the characters. Her debut novel Letters from Home became a great success once published in America; meanwhile it was translated into different languages in the whole world and the copyright was transferred to more than30countries and attracted more than5million readers in Europe, becoming one of the bestselling books listed in New York Times. McMorris therefore has received more than20literary awards, and two nominations of the Golden Heart.Till now, there have not been any theses discussing Letters from Home from the perspective of trauma theory' dissertation">trauma theory. As McMorris is just a newly rising writer, even there is very little study on her. And the studies of other works on trauma theory is also not many. Based on trauma theory, this thesis makes a decoding in Letters from Home.The thesis is composed of an introduction, the main body and the conclusion, and the main body includes four chapters.The Introduction first briefly presents the author and her main works, the content of Letters from Home. Then it makes a general survey of literature review on Letters from Home.Chapter One mainly concerns trauma theory and deals with its definition, causes, symptoms and ways of recovery.Chapter Two explains different causes of trauma and mainly discusses each character’s truama from the wartime background, and the aspects of emotional entanglements between the characters, such as Liz’s childhood memory of her mother’s leaving, Morgan’s painful memory of Charlie’s death, Julia’s heartbreaking experiences of hearing her fiance’s death, and Betty’s spiritual trauma when knowing the man she loved had already got married.Chapter Three describes the traumatic symptoms of each character, such as Liz’s flashback and confusion, Betty and Julia’s contusion and depression, Morgan and Charlie’s sense of guilt and nightmares.Chapter Four discusses their recovery from trauma and how each character in this novel finds his or her ways to cure the trauma, and the most obvious way to cure the trauma was to write. In this novel, letters become the media to cure and through letters between Liz and Morgan, their traumas are finally cured. By reconstructing themselves, Betty and Julia find their courage to start a new life.In the Conclusion, it is pointed out that through communication and reconstructing oneself, people who have traumatic symptoms can get recovered and reach the final peace of their hearts. Meanwhile, traumatic theory also provides guidance for all human beings to have a better life.

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