final draft

Sanjida Ridhe

Professor Jay Polish

Final draft

May 8, 2018

Was memory loss the most effect way to cope with trauma?

Memory loss is a tricky and frustrating situation which is caused by multiple factors. There are many specific cases where trauma is the reason behind your memory loss. According to research physical and emotional trauma can directly affect your memory. Sometimes the memory loss may be temporary but there are cases where it can become permanent regarding the type of trauma you went through such as a possible severe brain injury or psychological trauma. Luckily our character Nemasani, mother for “Anon”, her memory was not permanently impacted. Although she did use memory loss and denial when it came to the loss of her son.

Anonymous is a thrilling and intense play written by Naomi Iizuka that tells the heartbreaking story of the separation between a mother and her son during the midst of horrible war occuring in the background. This play starts of anon telling his story and his journey to finding and reuniting with his mom only to realize that she has forgotten him and is in denial when he is pushing the truth on her which is that he was never dead only lost. The play does go back and forth between Anon’s life and Nemasani’s and her story is everything that happened to her after her dear son was “killed in the storm”. Nemasani is working in a sweatshop, always being bothered by her boss who has no boundaries and each time she is asked about her son, she repeatedly says he’s dead. This play is definitely one for the feels and the harshness of this story becomes obvious when Anon soon does find his mother and it’s heartbreaking where she refuses to believe he is who he says he is. She constantly told herself and others that she no longer had a son. She started to believe the truth. Her true recollection of the facts refused to kick in even after Anon constantly told her what she is saying is true.

What Nemasani has done here is a clear fact of her decision to cope with trauma with Denial. I believe that she has chose to have denial has her coping mechanism. She knowingly did it and here’s why. Denial is in fact a psychological defense. It is one of the many reactions to trauma. Denial can involve denying or rejecting the traumatic event happened, refusing or denying that it was traumatic and pretending to feel an emotion of certainness when you aren’t. It is said that “If you’re in denial, you’re trying to protect yourself by refusing to accept the truth about something that’s happening in your life”. (mayoclinic.org, lines 1-2). According to an article written by Mayo Clinic discussing denial and its effects, some symptoms of denial are (you) “won’t acknowledge a difficult situation, try not to face the facts of a problem, and downplay possible consequences of the issue”. On page 50, during the scene where Nemasani and Anon look at each other for the first time after Anon says in broken lines which in a full sentence would be “What if I told you…what If somehow…But what if- you have a son?” Nemasani is refusing to let him say what she is scared he might say. She replies with lines such as  “No. Don’t say it..please don’t”. And when Anon says “What if?” Nemani replies with “ I don’t believe in “what if”. “What if” will break your heart. After she hears that he says she has a son she immediately says “My son died. He died a long time ago. He was just a little boy and he died”. Anon is begging for her to listen and she apologizes and just simply says that she can’t. This is an example of how Nemasani fits 2 of the symptoms described above. She isn’t trying to acknowledge the truth of a difficult situation that she is speaking to the son that she thought she had lost. She also isn’t trying to face the facts of the problem. She only assumed he was dead. She never really found his body or reported what had happened to him. She was only left with having to cope with her loss and to starting a new life without him.

When I think of dealing with immense trauma, a certain career choice comes to mind and that would be anyone in the Medical department. How do they experience and cope with death? “Nearly all the students experienced some sort of degree of distress upon the death of patients. This anxiety mostly included sadness but also included guilt and anger” (OMEGA, VOL 68(3) 207-228, 2013-2014). Upon reading this I began to think of what Nemasani and Anon have done. Nemasani’s sadness brought on extreme sadness she had chosen to be oblivious to her facts and believe something that was much easier for her to understand. Anon’s anger and sadness resided when he refused to tell anyone his name. He got angry in the beginning of the story when Calista and Anon had a conversation upon where he would go since he refused to go anywhere with her. Each time he would say no. When she replied with “but this is your home”, he would always say no and make sure she knew he wanted her real home. Another example would be the mentioning of his mother throughout the various groups of people he met. A common response to a question about his mom was “Don’t talk about my mom”. It’s researched that “Students who experienced deaths that were the results of code situations (where the student may not have met the patient before) often did not have an emotional response to the losses. However some students lost patients with whom they interacted for days or even weeks, leading them to develop an attachment to the patient” (OMEGA, VOL 68(3) 207-228, 2013-2014). This is only the bond between a patient and their doctor. Imagine the bond between a mother and her child? A mother and her child seperated is meant for severe depression and can cause many types of trauma and having to cope with it, there would be drastic solutions than the one Nemasani has went through.

Nemasani dealt with trauma one way and Anon dealt with it another which was memory loss. Throughout the story, he does seem to be repeating the story of him and his mom multiple times but there are still some hazy facts here and there. He isn’t sure of most things but one thing he is of course sure of is that once he woke up from the wrath of the terrible storm and was taken in by an American family is that he knows this isn’t his real home. He also changes his name multiple times throughout the story going from “Anon, to nobody, to koori..etc”. One of his names was even “Monkey”. That’s cause to smirk! He doesn’t ever give his actual name. There was an important scene during this play that I’d like to focus on. He had trouble getting recollection of his memory but after talking to this girl Naja she helps him remember. On page 24, Naja is repeatedly asking “what do you remember?” When anon says “I don’t know where to begin. I don’t know how. I don’t know how to begin”. Naja replies with “Begin in the middle, on the border, on the crossing. Begin in the place in between”. Naja is trying to help him gather his thoughts and it works. He soon starts to remember his mother and how she used to hold him as a baby. Nemasani and Anon both had memory loss but in the sense where they pushed the trauma to the back of their mind and as for Anon his perseverance in finding his mother is what was helping him get through this and remember. According to research, “Memory loss is a natural survival skill and defense mechanism humans develop to protect themselves from psychological damage”. (casapalmera.com) It is also said that “A person will often suppress memories of a traumatic event until they are ready to handle them, which may never occur”. Nemasani clearly has done this to get through the loss of her son. I would say that Anon has also done the same when it comes to suppressing memories because he doesn’t remember everything and this adventure in finding his mom is what is helping regaining his memory. Everyone he bumps into he soon collects more and more pieces he didn’t know were there.

Research has proved that the 2 coping mechanisms Nemasani and Anon have used is the case of denial and memory loss. Suppressing memories for Anon was more of a conscious choice rather than choosing to be in denial which was Nemasani’s choice because she didn’t want to face facts and if she went through denial she’d only be remembering her song instead of having to relive traumatic situations and mourne even longer than she is now. Deep down Nemasani always knew about her son and have thought about him in a different way she seems to show as if she’s not.

Works cited

Pessagno, Regina, et al. “Dealing with Death: Medical Students’ Experiences with Patient Loss.” Omega: Journal of Death & Dying, vol. 68, no. 3, Sept. 2013, pp. 207-228. EBSCOhost, doi:10.2190/OM.68.3.b.

Staff, C. (2018). How Trauma Affects Your Memory. [online] Casapalmera.com. Available at: https://casapalmera.com/blog/how-trauma-affects-your-memory/ [Accessed 10 May 2018].

Mayo Clinic. (2018). Stuck in denial? How to move on. [online] Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/denial/art-20047926 [Accessed 10 May 2018].

reflection:
I think the trickiest pieces of paper to write our research papers. Especially in college. It’s very frustrating to know that it involves a lot more than just writing about characters and the story you actually have to search up articles that relate to your story and the point you’re trying to make across and then try to add it into your story. Finding the right kind of research and writing about it was always a big trouble I have. I still do to this day. I am proud of the way I can make analyzations though, after reading this play it was super easy to interpret this in an analytical way and come up with the topic I wanted for my research paper. After that, I would say things went downhill. Like I said it’s very difficult for me to connect the research in with the story because the kind of topic I chose was analytical and opinion based. I am not a doctor to be identifying their symptoms and giving them like some issue they have. What I will say about my research is I could have used more articles that helped probably 75% more instead of 60% percent. The research I chose could have led the topic I chose in multiple directions. Choosing one direction would be very difficult. The kind of research I was reading up upon and have come across with have made me understand this play from more psychological perspective. Any dialogue the characters such as Anon and Nemasani I was able to see it in a way a doctor would or see it in a way where I can understand that this isn’t necessarily a normal state of mind the characters were in clearly. I’m not going to lie to you I despise research papers with a passion. I hear it all the time that as I get older that is all I am going to be writing but I just don’t seem to be getting better at it. Peer review helps in the sense where I am literally getting someone else’s viewpoint on things and they are only trying to help me get better but trying to get better at a thing I don’t even think I am remotely good at is difficult.

first draft

Sanjida Ridhe

Professor Jay Polish

First draft

May 1st, 2018

Was memory loss the most effect way to cope with trauma?

Memory loss is a tricky and frustrating situation which is caused by multiple factors. There are many specific cases where trauma is the reason behind your memory loss. According to research physical and emotional trauma can directly affect your memory. Sometimes the memory loss may be temporary but there are cases where it can become permanent regarding the type of trauma you went through such as a possible severe brain injury or psychological trauma. Luckily our character Nemasani, mother for “Anon”, her memory was not permanently impacted. Although she did use memory loss and forgetting her son and repeatedly telling herself and others that her son was dead to copy with losing him.

Anonymous is a thrilling and intense play written by Naomi Iizuka that tells the heartbreaking story of the separation between a mother and her son during the midst of horrible war occuring in the background. This play starts of anon telling his story and his journey to finding and reuniting with his mom only to realize that she has forgotten him and is in denial when he is pushing the truth on her which is that he was never dead only lost. The play does go back and forth between Anon’s life and Nemasani’s and her story is everything that happened to her after her dear son was “killed in the storm”. Nemasani is working in a sweatshop, always being bothered by her boss who has no boundaries and each time she is asked about her son, she repeatedly says he’s dead. This play is definitely one for the feels and the harshness of this story becomes obvious when Anon soon does find his mother and it’s heartbreaking where she refuses to believe he is who he says he is. She constantly told herself and others that she no longer had a son. She started to believe the truth. Her true recollection of the facts refused to kick in even after Anon constantly told her what she is saying is true.

What Nemasani has done here is a clear fact of her decision to cope with trauma with Denial. Denial is in fact a psychological defense. It is one of the many reactions to trauma. Denial can involve denying or rejecting the traumatic event happened, refusing or denying that it was traumatic and pretending to feel an emotion of certainness when you aren’t. It is said that “If you’re in denial, you’re trying to protect yourself by refusing to accept the truth about something that’s happening in your life”. (mayoclinic.org, lines 1-2). According to an article written by Mayo Clinic discussing denial and its effects, some symptoms of denial are (you) “won’t acknowledge a difficult situation, try not to face the facts of a problem, and downplay possible consequences of the issue”. On page 50, during the scene where Nemasani and Anon look at each other for the first time after Anon says in broken lines which in a full sentence would be “What if I told you…what If somehow…But what if- you have a son?” Nemasani is refusing to let him say what she is scared he might say. She replies with lines such as  “No. Don’t say it..please don’t”. And when Anon says “What if?” Nemani replies with “ I don’t believe in “what if”. “What if” will break your heart. After she hears that he says she has a son she immediately says “My son died. He died a long time ago. He was just a little boy and he died”. Anon is begging for her to listen and she apologizes and just simply says that she can’t. This is an example of how Nemasani fits 2 of the symptoms described above. She isn’t trying to acknowledge the truth of a difficult situation that she is speaking to the son that she thought she had lost. She also isn’t trying to face the facts of the problem. She only assumed he was dead. She never really found his body or reported what had happened to him. She was only left with having to cope with her loss and to starting a new life without him.

Nemasani dealt with trauma one way and Anon dealt with it another which was memory loss. Throughout the story, he does seem to be repeating the story of him and his mom multiple times but there are still some hazy facts here and there. He isn’t sure of most things but one thing he is of course sure of is that once he woke up from the wrath of the terrible storm and was taken in by an American family is that he knows this isn’t his real home. He also changes his name multiple times throughout the story going from “Anon, to nobody, to koori..etc”. One of his names was even “Monkey”. That’s cause to smirk! He doesn’t ever give his actual name. There was an important scene during this play that I’d like to focus on. He had trouble getting recollection of his memory but after talking to this girl Naja she helps him remember. On page 24, Naja is repeatedly asking “what do you remember?” When anon says “I don’t know where to begin. I dont know how. I dont know how to begin”. Naja replies with “Begin in the middle, on the border, on the crossing. Begin in the place in between”. Naja is trying to help him gather his thoughts and it works. He soon starts to remember his mother and how she used to hold him as a baby. Nemasani and Anon both had memory loss but in the sense where they pushed the trauma to the back of their mind and as for Anon his perseverance in finding his mother is what was helping him get through this and remember. According to research, “Memory loss is a natural survival skill and defense mechanism humans develop to protect themselves from psychological damage”. (casapalmera.com) It is also said that “A person will often suppress memories of a traumatic event until they are ready to handle them, which may never occur”. Nemasani clearly has done this to get through the loss of her son.

1. Is my thesis good?

2. Am i using my research correctly and providing enough in my essay?

3. is the idea relevant enough or should i focus on another question?

4. do you have any recommendations on how i can connect my research to the story?

5. how is my format for the essay, is it all over the place or is topic placement correct

HW 4/19

3 questions: the events change up and down and the characters are always changing will the conclusion have all the answers? is anon confused? what is the story or main message the author is trying to portray and what the audience to understand? the main body gestures i had was shaking my head when there would be change of events. when anon is meeting his mother i was feeling intrigued and i guess you’d say one of my body gesture was mainly out of curiousity. i was on the edge of my seat waiting to figure out what would happen and the next lines he’d say. the only sounds i found myself mainly doing is probably saying huh? and that was because of confusion. the story kept changing and i was trying to figure out whether or not i liked these characters. i do admit that i sympathize anon so as he was trying to find home which i assume is the whole reason for this story i was just sucking in my teeth everytime he’d say his story or talk with his mother.

Final draft.

Sanjida Ridhe

Professor Jay Polish

ENG 102

April 10, 2018

A Poem For A Lady Whose Voice I like Fan Fic

Characters : Elena & Zacharia

CURRENT SATURDAY

“You ain’t got no talent

if you didn’t have a face

you wouldn’t be nobody..”

His words kept replaying in my head. God, I hated his voice. Every time I heard it. But nope. I won’t let him get to me.

“5 MINUTES TILL SHOWTIME IS EVERYONE READY?”

“Fuck it was time”.

PREVIOUS SATURDAY

I had come home from work tired from a 13-hour shift. I place my jacket in the closet to my right and leave my keys on the counter. I was exhausted. The house was a mess. If anyone were to ever come over they’d be disgusted. I was disgusted. Seinfeld was on and Zach was opening a beer. *SNAP* OR *KLSKK*? Is that the sound of a beer cap opening? I notice some drip to the floor and I look over to Zach but he pays no attention. I roll my eyes. That’s another thing to clean up.

Zacharia and I had been together for 20 years now and I can’t remember the last time I saw a smile on his face. It was probably when we had first moved into the apartment we live in now but since then, his smile was gone. He’d been working at the laundromat down the block until it closed and got replaced by the burger shack he ironically now is a daily customer for. There was no money coming in, and the bills piled up. I had lost track of the last time he left his house besides to grab a smoke and a burger with his boys. I was the only type of income coming in. I had to be. I had been picking up extra shifts at the bakery and we still struggle to pay the rent. God, when did things go downhill? I wish I had an answer.

I grab the towel and I make my way over to the mess he still had paid no attention to.

“Hi, honey. What are you up to?” No answer, of course.

I move around him to clean. It was like I wasn’t even there. I mean, he had his beer and Seinfeld was on, I didn’t expect anything. I shouldn’t have. After getting up, I fix and organize a couple of magazines or to be specific Zach’s playboys. My eyes roll again. Zach started to mumble something.

“Elena, what’s that guy next door name again? The one with the fro? Leonard? Larry something?”

“You mean Lenny?”

“Yes him. Good job. Lenny came by. He wants you on his show. I said you’d do it for 80 per show. Understand?”.

“Excuse me? What do you mean you said I’d do it? Understand? Exactly who are you speaking to?”

God. Who the hell was he? “UNDERSTAND?” I could throw this towel on him, spill his beer and just leave. God, I just wanted to leave.

“Zacharia, I will not let myself be the very thing I am against. I won’t be dancing for anyone no matter how badly we need the money. Now, do YOU understand me? I am not just some ‘body’ you can control. I will not be one of those girls”.

I mess up the magazines, grab the towel and stomp away. I start to shuffle our mail in the kitchen with my back facing him. There’s a silence. I look to my left and watch the time. 3 minutes. It’s been 3 minutes. I hear the leather of the couch squeaking, and I hear the sound of a bottle hitting the table.  *Brr*. Believe me, I refrained myself from using this word to describe how I was feeling but that was literally it. I got literal chills down my back. I can hear him about to speak. Or yell, I should use the correct word. It was yell. He was about to start yelling.

“What do you mean you WON’T do it? You ungrateful prick. I got you a job. One show can finally pay off that damn cell phone bill of yours. I told Lenny you’d do it, and you will. Now go set dinner and go talk to Lenny and get more details. I don’t want to hear it anymore”.

Before I could speak, he had left the room. He walks into the bathroom and as the door closes I hear;

“You ain’t got no talent

if you didn’t have a face

you wouldn’t be nobody”

CURRENT DAY.

It’s 8 pm and we’re about to go on. I hear Lenny yelling “5 minutes!” My body was sore and itchy. Lenny made us all wear Burlesque outfits and the corset was actually sucking the life out of me. The feathers kept making its way to my mouth no matter how many times I’d spit it out. And these gloves, god these were stuck to my hands because of all the sweat.

“FUCK!”

“WHY the fuck did I do this. I don’t fucking need any of this shit.”

“I need to leave”.

I take a sneak peak, and what do you think I see? Zacharia and his boys breaking beers and screaming out “HEY! Start already”.

That was it. I couldn’t fucking satisfy Zach and sell myself out. That wasn’t the man I married. I take off the feathers and gloves and throw it to the floor. I can hear someone running up to me. It was Lenny. He grabbed me by the arm and said;

“ELENA WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING? DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THAT SHIT WAS?”

“Fuck you, and fuck this. Let me go”.

I grab my bag and I come out from backstage, and start walking rapidly. Zacharia starts yelling,

“HEY! Where do you think you’re going?! Do you know how much you now owe me for doing this childish shit? What’s wrong with you? Now get back there or don’t bother coming home.”

“How much I owe YOU? ME? Childish? You’re despicable. You wanna know something?”

He laughed. Why the fuck was he laughing at? I start to stare in confusion.

he said: “you pretty full of yourself ain’t chu?”

I was done. I realized if I had explained myself to him it would be going in through one ear and out with the other. I didn’t need this. I had friends and family back home who wouldn’t sell me out for a case of beers and Seinfeld, and treat me with the respect I deserve. I looked at the pile of garbage in front of me, took a deep breath and said:

“show me someone not full of herself   

and i’ll show you a hungry person”

I walk away. This was it. I didn’t bother looking back. Last words I hear are;

“Wtf is that supposed to mean?”

I laughed.

Reflection: While writing this fanfic, I had to learn to explore my mind and be as creative as possible. I had an easy and strong understanding of this poem and it only made sense to revolve it around a man taking control of a woman as if that’s his only purpose. Being explicit was risky, but what better way to explain and show frustration? I prefer fanfic over writing an essay because I got to explain this poem through a story of my own and not only was that exciting to do, I am quite proud of this work. Peer review is always great to get input and other ideas because not only is it a review of your work, it’s your audience wanting to help you improve your work.

 

Poem for a lady whose voice I like, rough draft

Rough draft of Poem for a lady whose voice I like

Let’s call the “she”, Elena and let’s call the he “Zacharia”.

“You ain’t got no talent

if you didn’t have a face

you wouldn’t be nobody”

His words kept replaying in my head. God, I hated his voice. Every time I hear it. But nope. I won’t let him get to me. He doesn’t know any better, he rather spends his days eating and belting at how I am merely an object rather than a person than to say something nice. 

I had come home from work tired from a 13-hour shift. I place my jacket in the closet to my right and leave my keys on the counter. Seinfield was on and Zach was opening a beer, and some drips to the floor but he pays no attention. Zacharia and I had been together for 20 years now and I can’t remember the last time I saw a smile on his face. It was probably when we had first moved into the apartment we live in now but since then, his smile was gone. He’d been working at the laundromat down the block until it closed and got replaced by the burger shack he is now a daily customer from. There was no money coming in, and the bills piled up. I had lost track of the last time he left his house besides to grab a smoke and a burger with his boys. 

He was on the couch when I had come home mumbling about how Lenny, our next door neighbor had wanted some dancing girls for his show at the bar that following Saturday. 

“Lenny came by. He wants you on his show. I said you’d do it for 80 per show. Understand?”.

“Excuse me?”

“What do you mean you said I’d do it? “Understand?” 

“Zacharia, I will not let myself be the very thing I am against. I won’t be dancing for anyone no matter how badly we need the money. Now, do you understand me?

I am not just some ‘body’ you can control. I will not be one of those girls”.

He lets his beer down and gets up. God, he smelled like sweat. He looked like he hadn’t showered in days and began to start yelling. “What do you mean you won’t do it? You ungrateful prick. I got you a job. One show can finally pay off that damn cell phone bill of yours. I told Lenny you’d do it, and you will. Now go set dinner and go talk to Lenny and get more details. I don’t want to hear it anymore”.

Before I could speak, he had left the room. He walks into the bathroom and as the door closes I hear;

“You ain’t got no talent

if you didn’t have a face

you wouldn’t be nobody”

What three things do you want to ask your peers about your work?

Do you guys like the plot? Is there anything you think I can do to help with my writing, I usually have a problem with sounding way too general and my vocabulary is weak. What do you think of the characters so far?

What three things are your favorite about your fan fic?

I’m not going to lie, maybe this is me since I am the one writing this it was easy to picture the setting and plot for this as soon as I read the poem. I love my character elena & i also love how i will soon be showing elena’s growth with self-confidence and empowerment. 

What three things are you unsure of? I am unsure of how to transition within my writing. I also fear I won’t find good placements to use some of the poem’s dialogue. I also don’t exactly know how to continue this without rambling so much about one thing, so i need to work on that.