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The Unconsciousness of Trauma and the Consciousness of Creating:the National Traumatic Autobiography and Its Communication in Cat’s Eye

Abstract: For a long time, Cat's Eye is acknowledged as the most autobiographical work among the Canadian writer Margaret Atwood's fictions. While illustrating the contradiction of the protagonist’s dual identities of the civilized and the wild in a postmodern narrative way of mingling both facts and fiction, Cat’s eye implies that Anglo-Canadian’s national trauma and fear,originated from the confrontation between the cultural centrism and the uncivilized natural wildness,are also a double-edged sword that provides both traumatic symptoms and creative insights. Given the deep-rooted cultural centrism, many nationalists like Atwood tend to choose culture and art as effective methods to work through the trauma, among which life-writing is the most important way due to its conscious and retrospective characteristics. The creative art based on the life-writing consciousness symbolizes both the individual and the national transcend the unconsciousness of trauma and forge the new identity.

Keywords: Margaret Atwood; national life-writing; cultural trauma; working through

Dr.Wang Yunqiu <yunqiuwang1983@163.com> is Lecturer of English in College of Foreign Languages at Hangzhou Dianzi University. Her current research interest is in Margaret Atwood, trauma narrative and black existentialism. Her recent publications include “Delusion and Dislocation: Paradox of Time and Space in Constructing Anglo-Canadian Identity,” Journal of Minzu University of China 1 (2016) and “Phantasy of Metaphor: Eating Disorder as Political Antagonism in the Edible Woman and Lady Oracle,” Foreign Literatures 4 (2015).