November- 10- 2017
Dealing With Trauma
In life some of our feelings are influenced by our experience. When we remember a experience that we view as positive it brings us joy. Memories like winning a contest or finishing first in a race are seen as good events in your life. When you think about a positive experience that you had it usually makes you more happy than if you didn’t. Sometimes there are events in our lives that we view as negative and it can be so severe that it sticks with us. You can usually see this in war veterans and refugees who lived in war zones. They have seen horrible things happen to people and also have to cope with the death of their friends. Sometimes the result of this can be trauma. In the play “Anonymous” you can see that Anon (the protagonist) and his mother Nemasani show that they have some symptoms of trauma such as flashbacks, social isolation and lost of interest.
Throughout the play Nemasani was trying to cope with her lost son by making shroud because she thought he was dead. Even though Anon ended up being alive he was still nowhere to be found and she had no idea what could have happened to him. So part of her still wanted to hold on to the fact that he was still alive because there was still no proof of his death. “The mourning and burial ceremonies can help people accept reality in a short period and return to order” (chen). There was no body found yet so there could not have been a burial ceremony. This burial ceremony could have helped Nemasani realize that her Anon was did but since there was no ceremony she did not entirely give up on him still being alive.
At times when Anon is interacting with people he starts to isolate himself from that person if he doesn’t feel a connection with them. He kept avoiding Calista when she tried to bond with him. Calista attempt to befriend failed because they come from different worlds. Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng believes this “The theories that explain patterns of racial segregation within a diverse setting identify homophily (the tendency to form relationships with individuals that share similar qualities), propinquity (the tendency to form relationships with individuals that share similar social situations), status, and reciprocity, as particularly important qualities of friendship formation (Hallinan and Williams 1989; McPherson, Smith-Lovin, and Cook 2001; Moody 2001)”. (Cherng p. 510) Anon who comes from a place that is a war zone cannot relate with Calista who is very high class and whose family has the money to afford a beach. While he had to escape war and got traumatized because of his experience of the war
When Anon meets Ali he wanted to leave right away. He first meets Ali’s daughter Narseen and mentions that he likes the song she was singing. They talk briefly until Ali arrives and calls Anon a roach. After a while he insists on making Anon his guest and offers him food. Anon rejects this offer and informed him that he had to leave. As a refugee with trauma it is not easy to trust new people especially when you are being insulted by them when you first meet them.
Anon sometimes talks about his homeland and tells people what he remembers about it. Since he had to escape his country and become a refuge in another it is probably because his life was in danger. He has memories of war and what he remembers seeing. “ Where I come from is far away from here. Where I come from there was a war that lasted so long people forgot what they were lighting for. Where I come from bombs rained down from the sky night after night and boys wandered the streets with M16s. Where I come from mines are planted in the roads like deadly flowers, and the air smells like death, rank and sticky sweet. Where I come from you go to sleep at night and dream about the faces of the people you love”(Iizuka,65). These flashbacks that he has are caused because of trauma because of what he went through in the past. This can be seen in all sorts of groups fleeing war . “Vietnamese refugees who were rescued and brought to refugee camps in different countries experienced varying encampment traumas and stressors. Their experiences were comprised of assaults by border guards upon entering neighboring countries (Boehnlein & Kinzie, 1997), overcrowding, starvation or poor nutrition, unsanitary conditions, and personal danger”(Dao Tam, Julia M. P. Poritz, Rachel P. Moody, and Kim Szeto 440). Anon has a very vivid picture of what was going on in his homeland he recalls having to leave after that.
In the play “Anonymous” you can see that both Anon and Nemasani go through trauma. It is is because of the experiences that they had in their lives that caused them to have it. Throughout the play you can see signs of this Even though the experience might be different what they both have in common is that it was a negative one and it gave them trauma.
Dao Tam, Julia, M. P. Poritz, Rachel, P. Moody, and Kim, Szeto,. Development, Reliability, and Validity of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Interview for Vietnamese Refugees: A Diagnostic Instrument for Vietnamese Refugees,. Houston: International Society For Traumatic Stress Studies, 2012
Chen, Biao. Coping With Death and Loss: Confucian Perspectives and the Use of Rituals. Springer Science+Business Media, 2012
Cherng, Hua-Yu Sebastian, Social Isolation Among Racial/Ethnic Minority Immigrant Youth. New York: 2015
Iizuka Naomi, Anonymous. American Theatre
When I started writing this paper I thought of what topics from the book I can use to write about. There were many topics I could have used like Immigration, culture shock and imagination vs reality. After thinking about for a while I thought that it would be best to pick Trauma. I made this decision after realizing that this is something more than one of the characters have. Both Anon and Nemasani share this. Trauma can be caused by witnessing war or being abused and there are many symptoms like isolation, mistrust and anxiety. Awareness of this topic should be spread around. Just like how physical health has a lot of awareness like exercising and eating healthy mental health should be something that people should learn more about.
Having peers who had similar topics and ideas to research helped out a lot while working on the paper. When we shared our papers we saw that we had a lot of ideas in common. There was many suggestions that we were able to give each other since our topics were similar. This helped create the paper since there was some feedback. When you have a research topic to focus on you get to have the opportunity to view the play differently and notice things that you have not noticed before.