We the Animals Close Reading

Megan Wu
Professor Clark
English 416/GSWS 392
4 October 2019

The Role of Trauma in We the Animals

In We the Animals, Torres explores the life of a young mixed-race boy that is growing into his sexuality. Torres fights against the usual homonormative narrative approach -- that queerness is supposed to be modeled after straight people -- by telling the story of a boy that is unsure of his sexuality and suppresses his fantasies due to fear of being different from his family. The use of trauma plays a major role in shaping the narrative by showing how the narrator experiences fragmented moments of shame.
A non-linear narrative is used to show the effects of trauma and disconnection ...

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has such a traumatic past. The narrator is raised in a violent household and his Paps was also abused as a child, so not only is this something his father was raised with, but it is something he is forcing his children to be raised into. Since this traumatic experience is from a child's perspective, the seriousness of the trauma is diluted because he does not have the full range of emotions to understand what he is going through. This makes it hard for the reader to fully understand the abuse he is facing. Although most of the novel is told from a child's perspective, there seems to be a disconnect as to when the narrator becomes a teenager; this fragmented and splintered narrative is a way to show trauma and this could be because the narrator started piecing together traumatic events after they happened. One prominent way that the non-linear narrative is used is in chapter five. After the narrator almost drowns, there is a short account of how his family reacted, but the ...

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with "my goodness" (125). The narrator is drawing from different memories to try and put together the emotions he is feeling, and the video showing his trauma being sexualized causes him to dissociate.
The feminization of the narrator is also used to point out that he's different. Coming from a family of basically all men, being considered feminine could be shameful because his brothers and his father all have this sense of toxic masculinity. This can be seen with his father acting violent with his family throughout the entire novel -- and especially when forcing himself onto their mother in chapter thirteen. The reader can see that this masculinity projects itself onto his ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 4/16/2020 12:00:58 PM
Submitted By: megbtjk
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1368
Pages: 5

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