Journey from Trauma to Transcendence Through Art Therapy: The Study of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak

  • Amman Shoaib Visiting Lecturer, Department of English, University of Central Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Usama Javed Iqbal Visiting Lecturer, Department of English, University of Central Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Abeera Shaukat Associate Lecturer, University of Narowal, Narowal, Pakistan

Abstract

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. The 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 future researchers in exploring various dimensions of Young Adult Literature to study the implications of trauma recovery through creative art therapy.


Keywords: trauma, sexual harassment, transcendence, art therapy, young adult literature

Published
2021-09-30
How to Cite
SHOAIB, Amman; IQBAL, Usama Javed; SHAUKAT, Abeera. Journey from Trauma to Transcendence Through Art Therapy: The Study of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak. University of Chitral Journal of Linguistics & Literature, [S.l.], v. 5, n. I, p. 147-163, sep. 2021. ISSN 2663-1512. Available at: <https://jll.uoch.edu.pk/index.php/journal10/article/view/288>. Date accessed: 19 jan. 2022. doi: https://doi.org/10.33195/jll.v5iI.288.