International Journal of Advanced Academic Studies
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International Journal of Advanced Academic Studies

2020, Vol. 2, Issue 3, Part D

Chris Abani’s Song for Night and the battlefield trauma of child soldiers


Author(s): Mamadou Abdou Babou Ngom

Abstract: Using Chris Abani’s Song for Night as a stepping stone, I set out to tackle in this paper the vexed issue of trauma issue. Trauma as a “wound to the mind” is an experience that occurs in different settings, especially in the battlefield. My study shows that the literature on trauma studies has a Eurocentric bent which is a crucial explanatory factor as to why the histories of trauma of non-Western people are given short shrift in trauma research. So called Third World people who have undergone the traumatizing “sentence of history” in terms of subjugation and colonization as well as racism deserve, so say pundits on trauma studies whose perspectives make up the literature review, considering as trauma victims or survivors. The paper argues that the field of trauma studies should move away from its Western bias and be more eclectic and all-encompassing. The analysis also brings to light the multifaceted human toll of trauma. The paper posits that trauma encounter in Song for Night leaves life-long psychological scars as it addresses widespread phenomenon of child soldiering- the narrator has been conscripted very young, and so exposed to trauma in a war zone. Tapping mainly into psychoanalysis and sociology, I try to tease out and explain how Chris Abani dramatizes the intricate politics of trauma. The psychoanalytic, sociological and psychological perspectives on trauma help get a handle on the meaning of the agency that trauma survivors perform to work through their awful experience.

Pages: 253-261 | Views: 67 | Downloads: 24

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How to cite this article:
Mamadou Abdou Babou Ngom. Chris Abani’s Song for Night and the battlefield trauma of child soldiers. International Journal of Advanced Academic Studies. 2020; 2(3): 253-261.
International Journal of Advanced Academic Studies