Dori Laub, author of, "Testimony: Crises of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis, and History", discusses a concept of missed experiences referred to as the 'collapse of witnessing'. The 'collapse of witnessing' is the idea that a person can witness an event and yet at the same time not really witness it at all. Through the analysis of Laub's 'collapse of witnessing', a connection can be seen between St. Teresa and Mary Rowlandson. St. Teresa is a nun that devotes her life to God, while Mary Rowlandson is the wife of a minister that is taken captive by Indians. They both have missed experiences and/or situations of the 'collapse of witnessing'. A traumatic event that can not be understood, can not be mastered, and can not be incorporated in the social, often times also, can not be witnessed. This 'collapse of witness' can be seen in both The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila by Herself and The True History of the Captivity of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson; and the 'collapse of witness' can be used as a tool to connect these two trauma texts.
According to Dori Laub there are, "three separate, distinct levels of witnessing" (Laub 75). These three levels are, "the level of being a witness to oneself within the experience; the level of being a witness to the testimonies of others; and the level of being a witness to the process of witnessing itself" (Laub 75). The 'collapse of witnessing' is how in relation to trauma, many times a person can not witness the event because the event is beyond the realm of the social. "The events [that] are remembered and seem to have been experienced in a way that [is] far beyond the normal capacity for recall" ...
... middle of paper ...
...ich she was originally from and the social from which she endured trauma for eleven weeks and five days. It is at this point that we can clearly see why there was a 'collapse of witness' to the process of witnessing and why Rowlandson chose and was forced to be a 'witness' on all levels.
Both Rowlandson and Teresa are examples of the 'collapse of witnessing' but also of the eventual 'witnessing' of the traumatic events of their lives. It is important to be aware of the other concepts that tie into Teresa and Rowlandson's 'collapse of witnessing'. Latency and melancholia play a part in Teresa and Rowlandson's 'collapse of witnessing', respectively. These concepts intertwine with Laub's theory of 'collapse of witnessing' to show a clear connection between The Life of Saint Teresa of Avila by Herself and The True History of the Captivity of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Eyewitness identification and testimony play a huge role in the criminal justice system today, but skepticism of eyewitnesses has been growing. Forensic evidence has been used to undermine the reliability of eyewitness testimony, and the leading cause of false convictions in the United States is due to misidentifications by eyewitnesses. The role of eyewitness testimony in producing false confessions and the factors that contribute to the unreliability of these eyewitness testimonies are sending innocent people to prison, and changes are being made in order to reform these faulty identification procedures.... [tags: unreliable testimony, court, legal system]
2504 words (7.2 pages)
- Evidence provided in many courtroom cases can range from DNA samples, eyewitness testimony and video-recordings, to name a few. What happens when one of the main sources of information in a case comes from a child. Even worse, what if the child is the victim in the case. The topic of children participating and providing testimony in courtroom settings is an image that, presumably, most would not associate as a “usual” place for children. Yet in cases such as sexual abuse or violence towards a child or within the child’s family, it is not impossible to have cases where children are the predominant source of information provided for judges and jurors.... [tags: eyewitness testimony of children]
3003 words (8.6 pages)
- The Impact of Different Life Crises Stress and everyday annoyances are not crises. Situations that interfere with normal activity, inspire feelings of panic or defeat, and bring about deep emotional reactions are crises. A crisis is a 'turning point'; or a crucial time that will make a difference for better or worse. The Chinese word for 'crisis'; is made up of two characters -- one means despair and the other means opportunity. When a person experiences crisis, there will either be a negative outcome or a positive one.... [tags: Crises Crisis Death Life Essays]
1448 words (4.1 pages)
- In Chapters six and seven of Shared Beginnings, Divergent Lives by John Laub and Robert Sampson, the lives of numerous men are shared and analyzed. The authors use life history interviews as well as crime history to help explain their theory. They interviewed these men various times throughout their lives, from a very young age up until age seventy. In Chapter six, Laub and Sampson mention the lives of a few men who have turned to desistance, or stopping, in committing crime. There were two subgroups, “nonviolent desisters” and “violent desisters”.... [tags: Crime, Violent crime, Criminology, Sociology]
873 words (2.5 pages)
- Plenty of children engage in rough-and-tough play and may be a little mischievous from time to time. As they grow into adolescence, they may start committing crimes and get in trouble with the law, but most of these individuals outgrow their behavior and stop offending. What makes individuals persist or desist from crime. What are the key causal factors and mechanisms that help this behavior desist. An in-depth synthesis of John Laub and Robert Sampson’s theory of age-graded informal social control will provide insight as to why individuals desist from offending.... [tags: social issues, children]
1003 words (2.9 pages)
- A male gets twice as much inheritance as a female. (From the Quran in Sura 4:11) A woman’s testimony only counts for half of a man’s testimony. (From the Quran in Sura 2:282) Husbands are a degree above their wives. (From the Quran in Sura 2:228) A wife may remarry her ex-husband if she marries another man, the two have sex, and then the second man divorces her. (From the Quran in Sura 2:230) Slave-girls are sexual property for their male owners. (From the Quran in Sura 4:24) A man may be polygamous with up to four wives.... [tags: Islam, Muhammad, Qur'an, Western world]
1033 words (3 pages)
- Eyewitness testimony has long been viewed as important evidence in court cases. The general population believes eyewitness identification more than any other evidence, even if the witness account is conflicting with the other evidence presented. Studies show that eyewitness testimony is unreliable, and yet it is still considered the most important form of evidence. People think that if a person says they saw something then it must have happened. Currently there are no universal guidelines on how to obtain and present such evidence.... [tags: Eyewitness Misidentification]
2505 words (7.2 pages)
- Cognitive psychologist, Elizabeth Loftus explains that, in 1970, Edmond D. Jackson was convicted of the murder of a New York bartender. The murder took place while fifty customers scrambled for cover. Loftus stated, “The subsequent investigation focused on four witnesses who looked at numerous mug shots and said one resembled the gunman” (Loftus xi). Later the defendant was convicted solely because these witnesses, who had seen the gunman in the bar for only a few seconds, had identified him. While in prison, Jackson prayed and prayed for his release–prayers which were not answered for nearly eight years.... [tags: murder, psychology, dna]
1207 words (3.4 pages)
- World War II, the major historical event during the life of John Knowles, the author of A Separate Peace, started in 1939. Germany instigated the war, and shortly afterward was joined by Japan and Italy. America, however, fought on the side of The Allies, England and France. Although the United States was still recovering from the Great Depression, it entered the war after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The military drafted men into the war, and women took their places in the work force, people abandoned the old way of life and looked forward to a new one.... [tags: A Separate Peace Essays]
2067 words (5.9 pages)
- Eyewitness Testimony Elizabeth Loftus has conducted many studies on eyewitness testimony (EWT). In 1974 she worked with John Palmer to look at the ways that memory can be distorted. The studies general aim was to explore the accuracy of memory after witnessing a car accident. In particular it was to find out if leading questions distort the accuracy of eyewitness’s immediate recall. It also aimed to see if it was true that people were open to hints, as people are extremely bad at estimating the speed of moving cars.... [tags: Papers]
749 words (2.1 pages)