'Locking the Door': Self-deception, Silence and Survival in Alice Munro's 'Vandals'

Abstract : This paper focuses on 'Vandals' by Canadian short story writer Alice Munro (Open Secrets, 1994). The story explores the complex relationship between abuse (here, the sexual abuse of children), silence and self-deception. This paper aims to read 'Vandals' as a trauma narrative which internalises the rhythms, processes and uncertainties of traumatic experience within its very structure (Vickroy, 2002). The paper will consider Munro's narrative and stylistic choices to represent the unrepresentable and the impact of traumatic memory. I will also consider how Munro addresses the issue of survival, showing that as she denies closure, and provokes " emphatic unsettlement' (LaCapra), Munro exposes the silencing force of trauma and unhealed wounds in order to call on her readers to break the compact of silence.
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Corinne Bigot. 'Locking the Door': Self-deception, Silence and Survival in Alice Munro's 'Vandals'. Trauma Narratives and Herstory, PALGRAVE MACMILLAN, 2013, 978-1-137-26834-1. ⟨10.1057/9781137268358⟩. ⟨hal-01682477⟩

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