Journey from Trauma to Transcendence Through Art Therapy: The Study of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak
Keywords:trauma, sexual harassment, transcendence, art therapy, young adult literature
The aim of this research paper is to analyze the novel of American writer, Laurie Halse Anderson, entitled Speak, through the lens of art therapy to highlight that the journey from trauma to transcendence is possible through the therapeutic medium of art. This study examines all the traumatic encounters which the protagonist of Speak, Melinda Sordino, must face in her adolescence period and her constant struggle to cope with those experiences. The research substantiates that Anderson's novel frames speech and recovery from depression and traumatic stress possible through the artistic renderings. Theoretical framework of this paper is encapsulated in Shaun McNiff’s theory of art as medicine. The scopes of existing studies of Laurie Anderson’s Speak are limited to the exploration of the impact of traumatic encounters on the psychological and social growth of the young adult but this has not been clarified that how the protagonist overpowers the weaknesses and frailties of her mind through the healing properties of art. The decipherment of the element of art therapy in Speak fills the gap in research on trauma recovery through expressive art in Young Adult literature. Thus, the findings generated from this study might help the future researchers in exploring various dimensions of Young Adult Literature to study the implications of trauma recovery through creative art therapy.
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