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Victimization And "Response-Ability": Remembering, Representing, And Working Through Trauma In Grave Of The Fireflies

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Chapter Summary

Grave of the Fireflies is the creative product of two Japanese survivor-narrators who were subjected to indiscriminate firebombing attacks in their youth. Dominick LaCapras examination of the relationship between concerned observer and traumatized observed in terms of subject position, identity politics and empathetic unsettlement is useful in this regard. LaCapra also identifies mourning, restoration of victim dignity, critical practice and trans- formative sociopolitical action as primary modes of working through historical trauma and victimization. For the purposes of this chapter, the most significant symbolic reversals of and divergences from the basic facts of Nosakas traumatic experience are: Seita dying of malnutrition just as his sister, Setsuko, did; Seita caring more for and taking better care of his sibling; the portrayal of the Manjidani widow as an incarnation of egoism, gluttony and insensitivity; and the pervasive presence of fireflies.

Keywords: Dominick LaCapra; Grave of the Fireflies; trauma; victimization



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