JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, Volume 24, Number 2, 2004 Page: 305
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survival, a "choiceless choice" that is nothingto be proud of, and certainly
brings neither consolation nor resolution. Instead, these actions prove
retraumatizing. As the boys-victims now become perpetrators-leave
the orphanage, we watch them hobble on canes and crutches, a literaliza-
tion of the maiming and crippling psychic legacy of the war (Figure 3).
Figure 3: The War's Crippling Legacy
We also see Jacinto, the erstwhile perpetrator, now a victim of the boys'
murderous rage, locked in an eternal embrace with his new double, Santi
(Figure 4). To the extent that civil wars call forth a killing of "one's own
kind," it is a violence that is always directed against oneself, creating a
disfigured and diminished form of collective self, whose memory is itself
a form of brutalization: "Humiliated memory . . . forces [one] into an
unnatural relation with the past, because the 'knowledge' it imparts
crushes the spirit and frustrates the incentive to renewal" (Langer,
Holocaust 29). Because of this unbearable knowledge of the past, they
literally cannot carry themselves into the future. The child-survivors have
been prematurely dispossessed of the fantasy of a complete self--
analogous to Spain's loss of a coherent national identity. The film
underscores the humiliated memory associated with the war in the
concluding image: the ghost of Dr. Casares watches in the shadows as the
crippled boys depart, his rifle in hand, underscoring and memorializing
the violence of that place.
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Association of Teachers of Advanced Composition (U.S.). JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory, Volume 24, Number 2, 2004, periodical, 2004; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc28644/m1/51/: accessed February 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .