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From Historical Narratives to Trauma Narratives: Universal Reactions to Surviving the Vietnam War

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dc.contributor.advisor Cain, Jimmie en_US Buchanan, Evan en_US 2014-08-28T18:42:10Z 2014-08-28T18:42:10Z 2014-07-05 en_US
dc.description.abstract Regardless of nationality, culture, spirituality, ideology, or gender, survivors (including combatants and noncombatants) of war express the symptoms of combat trauma in undeniably similar ways. Veterans' Administration (VA) psychiatrist Dr. Jonathan Shay has noted the most destructive of these symptoms in the factual accounts of his Vietnam veteran patients. This thesis argues, though, that the same symptomatic manifestations recognized by Shay also appear with regularity in the fictional record of the Vietnam War. Foremost among these are a tendency to remain combat-ready; a reliance on misdirection and misrepresentation; and a dependency on drugs and alcohol. en_US
dc.description.abstract More specifically, veterans may remain combat-ready by using combat survival skills, by seeing danger in their surrounding environment, and by viewing civilian life as a combat mission. Furthermore, survivors of war commonly use the tactics of misdirection and self-misrepresentation as a way to test--and keep at a distance--others. Additionally, survivors of the Vietnam War in the literature often abuse alcohol, use prescription and illicit drugs, or perform other more innocuous behaviors compulsively in order to escape from and/or provoke distressing memories of war. en_US
dc.description.abstract Finally, this thesis argues that the common use of postmodern literary techniques among veteran and refugee authors can be best understood as yet another manifestation of combat trauma. Much of the literature of the Vietnam War is decisively postmodern in that it is distrustful of metanarrative and resists singular conceptions of identity. Furthermore, authors are often distrustful of the modern war narrative form and gravitate towards a more fractured approach to writing. en_US
dc.publisher Middle Tennessee State University en_US
dc.title From Historical Narratives to Trauma Narratives: Universal Reactions to Surviving the Vietnam War en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Hibbard, Allen en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Sayward, Amy en_US
dc.thesis.degreelevel Masters en_US
dc.thesis.degreegrantor Middle Tennessee State University en_US
dc.subject.umi Literature en_US M.A. en_US
dc.contributor.department English en_US

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