Seminar paper from the year 2015 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,0, University of Koblenz-Landau (Anglistik), course: 20th Century Novels, language: English, abstract: Trauma seems to me being an essential topic to discuss in school as everybody sooner or later has to deal with loss or already dealt with it in the past. As every student can identify with this potential challenge, it is important for them to get to know different ways of dealing with trauma. Foer's story even reveals that coping with trauma is able to bring people from different races and ages together. Even if people's trauma is caused by different events there will be a connection between these people. Moreover, it would be possible to teach this topic interdisciplinary and interdisciplinary in ethics or religious education classes.
As everyone could be affected by trauma I determined this topic for my planned lesson. The reason for choosing the subtopics namely 'inventing' and 'heavy boots' referring to Oskar; Grandfather Schell's 'aphasia' and 'the doorknobs' and finally, 'supressing' and 'the feeling of being needed' with regard to Grandmother Schell reveal concreteness for the main topic. I decided to teach the topic by group work to facilitate the exchange of experiences without the danger to be exposed in front of the class. I thought this is the best way, as the students can talk about how they perceived the character and his or her ability to deal with the trauma they have gone through. The team work is followed by a presentation and discussion of this work to ensure all students have reached the same level of knowledge. Moreover, it is important have the ability to emphasise with this character and change their perspectives or contribute their own experiences with loss to explain the others why somebody could show such behaviour.
I will analyse the topic by a characterisation following by a psychoanalytic approach. For one it is important to get to know why people are behaving differently after experiencing loss and second, it is illuminating for the students to become aware that trauma can be responsible for the person concerned being left with an altered personality. The lesson I have planned relates to both, characterisation and psychoanalytic approaches. After the lesson the students should have general knowledge about trauma and its effects. Furthermore, it should be clear that trauma can only be overcome by going through two phases, which build up upon each other.