Writers often use literature as a means of communicating traumatic events that occur in history, and such events are recorded by first-hand accounts as well as remembered by people far removed from the situation. Two traumatic events in history that are readily found in literature are The Irish Potato Famine and The Holocaust. A literary medium that has been used quite poignantly to convey trauma is poetry and the poetry from these two historical traumatic events is not difficult to find. Some wrote poetry to maintain their sanity as they experienced the traumatic event while others wrote after-the-fact as an outlet for emotional pain. Some wrote in remembrance of what they had lived through and so that others in succeeding generations could fathom even a glimpse of their traumatic experience. Another group of writers, far removed from the events, felt they had some light to shed on the subject. These people may be from a background similar to the victims or very learned on the matter surrounding it. A reader may wonder why poetry is such a viable option for conveying the trauma of so many people. Hilda Schiff writes, “the contemporaneous literature of any period of history is not only an integral part of that period, but it also allows us to understand historical events and experiences better than the bare facts alone can do because they enable us to absorb them inwardly” (xiv). The facts are raw and bare, like a skeleton. The literature and poetry add the skin and features to the bones to make the people and images they represent more realistic.
Historians hope that by teaching younger generations about historical mistakes of the past, the knowledge will...
... middle of paper ...
... ed. The Last Lullaby, Poetry from the Holocaust. Syracuse University Press, 1998.
Miller, Alice. For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-rearing and the Roots Of Violence. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1983: 197.
Morash, Christopher. Writing the Irish Famine. Clarendon Press, 1995.
Parmet, Harriet L. The Terror of Our Days. Lehigh University Press, 2001.
Reznikoff, Charles. from “Holocaust.” Holocaust Poetry. Ed. Hilda Schiff. St. Martin’s Press, 1995: 78-80.
Sachs, Nelly. “A Dead Child Speaks.” Holocaust Poetry. Ed. Hilda Schiff. St. Martin’s Press, 1995: 67.
Schiff, Hilda ed. Holocaust Poetry. St. Martin’s Press, 1995.
Tal, Kali. Words of Hurt: Reading the Literatures of Trauma. Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Wiesel, Elie. “Never Shall I Forget.” Holocaust Poetry. Ed. Hilda Schiff. St.Martin’s Press, 1995: 42.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Irish Potato Famine occurred in 1845 and had killed tons of people. Over 750,000 people had died and more than a million had emigrated. At the time Ireland’s population was only about 8 million so this famine had devastated many families. The people of Ireland at this time were so dependent upon the potato that it was a main staple. The Irish would consume the potato with almost every meal, and for some the potato was the only food that they were ever able to eat. The famine was produced by a protist called Phytophthora infestans (P.... [tags: The Irish Potato Famine]
1514 words (4.3 pages)
- From about 1845 to around 1852 a great famine occurred in Ireland. It was very devastating for lots of people. Countless people died due to food shortages and others became ill and died later. The famine was caused by a fungus-like protest, which caused potatoes to rot. The Irish people depended heavily on potatoes, so when their main crop failed, the people were left without food to eat and without anything to sell for money. Many other people that did not die in Ireland immigrated to other countries like the United States in search for a better life.... [tags: The Irish Potato Famine]
1413 words (4 pages)
- This project examines the impacts on humans and environmental factors associating with the Irish Potato Famine between the years of 1845 and 1852. This famine was named so due to Irish’s main staple food being potatoes and the affect of those potatoes on that country once they were unable to be grown. Also known as the Great Famine, which occurred in Ireland, this famine created a mass occasion of starvation, emigration, and disease. This event in history caused many changes throughout the world.... [tags: potato famine, great famine, irish farmers]
1993 words (5.7 pages)
- The Irish Potato Famine started in the year 1845. When the potatoes were harvested, a few days after, they started turning into a slimy, decaying, and blackish ball of rottenness. The reason this happened was due to the organism Phytophthora Infestans. 750,000 people died. Between 1846 and 1850, the population of Ireland dropped by 2 million which represented 25% of the total population (The Great Famine of 1845, 2013). It cut the population almost in half. Pre-Columbian farmers discovered the potato about 7,000 years ago in the Andes Mountains (Potato History, 2014).... [tags: Irish history, potato history]
1083 words (3.1 pages)
- A great famine occurred in Ireland from around 1845 to about 1852 and devastated the country. Approximately one million people died of starvation or diseases caused by this famine, and about one million more people emigrated Ireland and moved to other countries to try to find a better life. One country that a lot of people moved to is the United States. Numerous people immigrated to the U.S. and created settlements all around the country. To provide for themselves in these settlements, most of the people farmed the land because that was what they knew how to do.... [tags: Ireland, potato blight]
1545 words (4.4 pages)
- During the Irish Potato Famine between 1845 to 1849 (McCarthy 88), one million people died within five years and an additional two million emigrated to other countries (“Ireland”). Even today Ireland has not completely recovered from this sudden loss in population (“Potatoes”). Although many blame this horrendous event on the government’s use of Laissez Faire Economics, the real cause of disaster was the people. The population loss, starvation, and diseases that resulted from the Irish Potato Famine were self- inflicted by the Irish peoples’ upcoming decisions to the event.... [tags: Irish History, Starvation, Diseases]
1092 words (3.1 pages)
- In the mid-1800s Ireland heavily relied on the growth of the potato. The phytophthora infestans spread Ireland quickly infecting all of the potato crops. This paper will cover the many different parts of the potato famine. The potato, The person invented the potato, how much Irish people relied on the potato and many other interesting things, as well as the development of the potato. One of the main reasons of that caused the potato famine was that many people slept in one cabin sharing it with many f animals and sleeping on straw beds that are on the ground.... [tags: Ireland, phytophthora infestans]
911 words (2.6 pages)
- The Great Potato Famine in Ireland Works Cited Missing Who would have guessed a simple crop, such as the potato, would have caused a major crisis in Ireland. The “white” potato, known today as the Irish potato, originated from the Andean Mountains. It arrived in north Peru and records state that they brought the potato to Europe in the second half of the 16th century (O’Grada 14). Originally, people thought potatoes were poisonous and refrained themselves from eating the crop. During this time, the monarchs of Europe discovered the nutritional value of the potato and ordered it planted.... [tags: History Historical Irish Essays]
1535 words (4.4 pages)
- The Great Ireland Potato Famine Effects The Great Ireland Potato Famine was a horrible event that had many lasting effects. Some of these effects were starvation, disease, poverty, emigration, and lost traits. These effects plagued mostly western Ireland, but had an overall effect on all of Ireland. Many of the traditional ways of economics and society changed drastically because of the famine. Many people also blamed the British for letting the famine get so bad. These effects will be discussed throughout the paper.... [tags: Essays Papers]
1797 words (5.1 pages)
- “We are talking about one of the greatest tragedies Of the nineteenth century.” -Ian Gibson Irish-American. To some, this term merely designates one of the many ethnic groups which can be found in the United States; but to those who are Irish-American, it represents a people who faced a disaster of mammoth proportions and who managed to survive at great cost. The Great Hunger of 1845 changed, or more often, destroyed the lives of millions of Irish, causing them to seek refuge from poverty and starvation in other, more prosperous countries.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
2695 words (7.7 pages)