Trauma and Escapism: The Dual Faces of Holocaust in Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief

Authors

  • Nicky Victor PG & Research, Dept of English, Fatima Mata National College (Autonomous), Kollam, Kerala, India
  • Dr Cynthia Catherine Michael Assoc. Prof & Head PG & Research, Dept of English, Fatima Mata National College (Autonomous), Kollam, Kerala, India

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.24113/ijellh.v8i12.10862

Keywords:

Trauma, Books, Holocaust, Victim, Escapism.

Abstract

Markus Zusak’s novel, The Book Thief wholly recaptures the trauma induced by war-torn Germany upon its inhabitants. This study serves the purpose of juxtaposing the traumatic bereavement of the Holocaust survivors with their various escaping tendencies. The chief protagonist of the novel, Liesel is representative of the entire traumatized community who faces the darkest moments of their life and still survives. Her story as part of the developing canon of Holocaust literature thus exposes the destructive trauma and affirms the importance of community in the rehabilitation of the traumatized. The power of words as an escaping force amidst all the upheaval provided much impetus to the distressed souls of Nazi Germany. Books emerged as an escaping force in the lives of many in times of all treachery and destitute. Trauma and escapism hence, binds together the traumatic experiences and the escaping strategies which the characters share among themselves under a dictatorial setup.

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References

Freud, Sigmund. “Beyond the Pleasure Principle.” The Journal of Philosophy. 22. 19 (1994): 303. JSTOR. Web. 1 Mar. 2020. .

Rothberg, Michael. Traumatic Realism: The Demands of Holocaust Representation (1992): 10. JSTOR. Web. 25 Mar. 2020. .

Heilman, Robert. “Escape and Escapism Varities of Literary Experience.” The Sewanne Review 83.3 (1975): 439- 445. Web. 9 Mar. 2020.

Schwarz, Daniel R. Imagining the Holocaust 26.1 (2000): 23. Cambridge University Press. Web. 30 Mar. 2020. .

Zusak, Markus. The Book Thief. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.

---. Interview by Provo Library. Online video clip. You Tube, 20 Mar. 2011. Web. 10 Feb. 2020. .

---. Interview by Sandip Roy at Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet (Kalam 2019). Outlook India, 22 Jan. 2019. Web. 4 Apr. 2020. .

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Published

31-12-2020

How to Cite

Victor, N. ., & Michael, D. C. C. . (2020). Trauma and Escapism: The Dual Faces of Holocaust in Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief. SMART MOVES JOURNAL IJELLH, 8(12), 85–94. https://doi.org/10.24113/ijellh.v8i12.10862