SYMBOLS OF TRAUMA AND VIOLENCE IN SOJI COLE’S EMBERS AND IYORWUESE HAGHER’S LAMP OF PEACE
Trauma studies has its foundation in the psychoanalytic theory of Freud. However, the 1990s saw an upsurge in the discourse of trauma studies in literature especially with the influential study of Cathy Caruth. Over the years, trauma studies has thrived and been applied in the interdisciplinary discuss of race, feminism, ecology and globalization. This paper explores the narratives of trauma in two Nigerian plays. It goes beyond the concept of “trauma unspeakable”(Caruth 1994) to investigate the impact of institutionalized violence on the vulnerable group of women and children. Based on Literary trauma theory and psychoanalytic theory, the paper offers a diversity of interpretation to women’s experiences of loss, displacement, and trauma in Soji Cole’s Embers and Iyorwuese Hagher’s Lamp of Peace. It finds that events of violence and inequality impacts the lived experiences of the characters differently and the ways in which it is captured in literature.