Prospectus and Annotated Bibliography



How Lucky by Alice Sebold and Speak by Laurie Anderson demonstrate that the victims were able to find their self-identity through trauma.


Lucky by Alice Sebold

Speak by Laurie Anderson


My topic is on exploring how the characters find their self-identity through trauma. In order to support this, first, I will start with what trauma means to Lacan and Fred and how they use it in their work. After we get an in-depth understanding of what trauma is, then we can use Lucky and Speak to explore how characters come of growth and discover their identity through experiences that are very traumatic. Both texts give us an excellent portrayal of representing the crime of rape. In both books, the main characters, Melinda and Alice were raped and how it affected their lives which eventually led them to discover their inner voice through such traumatic even as rape. I will be also using feminist views on rape since rape or sexual assault is a feminist issue. To support my topic, I will be using feminist perspective to explore what the they say about this whether it is good or bad that negative experiences helped discover the character’s identity. As we all know, normally people find something good that has happened to them which helps them to discover their self-identity.

I would like to explore this claim since this is what they both have in common. It is interesting that such negative experience can turn out a positive influence in helping the development of self. I would like to do more research on how these books talk about how it shapes their identity after going through such traumatic event. The memoir Lucky by Alice Sebold is an example of trauma where Alice seeks to find her “selfhood.” I will be focusing on how the characters of Melinda and Alice developed through negative experiences such as rape. Even though, they both were raped, they were still able to rise and were able to find their inner voice which helped them tremendously in their character’s development. I will also try to answer the question that why some people are able to move on with their lives with sense of growth while others get stuck and remain angry for a long period of time.

Annotated Bibliography

Chamallas, Martha. “Lucky The Sequel.” Ohio State university Moritz College Of Law Working Paper Series. 2005. Print.

Martha Chamallas writes that a person can explore their identity through traumatic experiences that Alice Sebold went through herself. Alice was able to find her identity through her writing process about rape and by telling us about what happened to her as a way to escape. This article shows us that after Alice was raped, she began to see the world through the eyes of victim. She categorized places, situations and people as “safe or unsafe” in order to protect herself from any kind of danger. As Chamalla writes that “Sebold’s life associated with rape as constituting a change in her identity.”

Bal Mieke, Crewe Jonathon and Spitzer Leo. Acts of Memory: cultural recall in the present. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England Bardenstein, Carol. 1999. Print.

This anthology is collection of essays which focuses on how difficult it is for trauma survivors to reconstruct their own identity. If they try to remember or tell others about their incident, this will make them relive that pain and suffering that they had to go through duting that event. In order for survivors to construct their identity through writing about their experience, audience job is to listen and to understand what they are trying to tell them. According to Bal, Crewe and Spitzer, “this aspect of remaking a self in aftermath of trauma highlights the dependency of the self on others and helps to explain why it is so difficult for survivors to recover when others are unwilling to listen to what they endured.”

Bussey Marian and Wise Judith. Trauma Transformed:an empowerment response. New York: Columbia University Press. 2007. Print.

It includes personal narratives during the survivor’s traumatic experiences such as war veteran, childhood abuse or sexual trauma which is tied together to give us an effective presentation. This book talks about transformation which is a “change hat involves being strengthened rather than destroyed by, trauma.” In this book, the question that has been raised various times is that, why some people who faced traumatic event, were able to move on and and live their life with sense of growth while others get stuck and remain angry through a long period of time? This book contains various different stories that includes variety of traumas and therefore, hearing the stories of others who have faced and survived will help other people to cope with their traumatic experiences to help them in finding their “identity.”

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