Acting out and working through: Trauma and Recovery in Quiara Algeria Hudes’s Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue


Asra Shaher Hamad, Dr. Elaff Ghanim Salih
Department of English College of Arts, University of Anbar, Iraq.


Quiara Algeria Hudes’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, is filled with tragic experiences andsurvival.Such a study elucidates the two concepts of trauma, whichare derived from trauma theory, acting out as well as working through as the main characters passed through in this play. Furthermore, the objectives of the study reveal how perpetrators suffer the symptoms of trauma after being influenced by war and genocides and the way to overcome their traumatic experience by passing through two stages of trauma acting out and working through. This study focuses on Dominick Lacapra’s two concepts of acting out and working through. Anin-depth reading of Hudes’s play in light of trauma theory helps to cover the horror of trauma as brutal experience. People ignore how trauma can influence perpetrators, unless they experience the same misery themselves. The theses conclude that though perpetrators can be traumatized and suffer the after war traumatic symptoms, but they can overcome them by finding suitable environmental supports and communicating with others. Furthermore, because trauma theory is linked to the medical field rather than the literary one, it views as a contemporary theory. Therefore, such study will be rather beneficial to students in medical field as well as other people who will do research in the same study field.