Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Access Only Senior Thesis


Bachelor of Arts

Primary Major


Thesis Advisor

Carlos Rodriguez, MA


Trauma is an unfortunate inevitability in the human condition. Literature provides cathartic expression and the power to heal both the writer and the reader. This paper will analyze and compare the ways in which trauma is represented in three 20th Century Latina writer’s short stories: “The Clearing”, by Argentine author Luisa Mercedes Levinson( 1983); “Homelife” by Uruguayan author Sylvia Lago (1991); and “Crickets and Butterflies”(1975) by Venezuelan author Gloria Stolk. Utilizing the classic and pluralistic literary trauma theories set out by Cathy Caruth and Michelle Balaev, this project analyzes the relationship between trauma and language, paying specific attention to tropes of dreams, metonymy, metaphor, and non- linear narratives and their function in the character’s processing of trauma. Using Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalytic theory, I will evaluate how and at what point the characters in the texts process and integrate trauma and the social impact these texts have on greater cultural healing.