To Teach or Not to Teach? : An analysis of depiction of trauma in Waris Dirie’s and Cathleen Miller’s ”Desert Flower” and trauma narratives as sensitive issues in the EFL classroom

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för språk (SPR)

Abstract: This essay examines Dirie’s and Miller’s Desert Flower and its depiction of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and the effect that this violation has had on the narrator. The analysis has been conducted through the critical lens of trauma studies with emphasis on how bearing witness of traumatic events can serve as healing and empowerment in the struggle to end FGM. As the multicultural classroom has grown extensively over the past years, the demand for an intercultural awareness is placed on the schools, where the pupils are to be given the chance to develop an understanding and acceptance of people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. This essay argues that, in spite of the dilemmas that often occur when teaching trauma as a sensitive and controversial issue, Desert Flower can in fact be used in the EFL classroom to engender intercultural awareness as well as offering the pupils a chance to develop self-actualization and social consciousness.

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