exposFIRSTpaper - 1 Micah Chan Professor Nimu Njoya...

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1 Micah Chan Professor Nimu Njoya Expository Writing Assignment 1 Final Copy 21 September 2009 Life through the Eyes of Dissociation By definition, reality is defined as a state or quality of being real. According to Martha Stout, author of “When I woke up Tuesday morning, it was Friday”, “all human beings have the capacity to dissociate [from reality] psychologically, though most of us are unaware of this…” (662). Every day, amidst busy chores and errands, people can psychologically dissociate for a moment and not even realize what just happened to them. On the other hand, those who are facing trauma can dissociate and be gone from minutes to days. Besides psychological dissociation, there is also a physical dissociation that can occur. In Azar Nafisi’s Selections from Reading Lolita in Tehran , Nafisi and her group of students learn to escape the harsh turmoil from their society and fall back into a retreat through group study sessions. Through dissociation, both authors write about people whom they know who have escaped from reality and have fallen back into their minds using imagination and literature. Despite the fact that Stout believes that dissociation
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2 can turn benign once it is over or misused, Nafisi’s group is a functional form of dissociation both physically and mentally. One main cause of dissociation is a serious traumatic situation or situations, says psychologist and author, Martha Stout. For example, Julia frequently dissociates from reality as a child because of the abuse her parents give her. When she is older, she has no recollections of her childhood, but instead blurry images. Dissociation is a method used the brain uses to escape a harsh and/or dangerous reality that an individual may be in. To keep the self safe, the mind will transport somewhere else and let another part of the self take over (Stout 662). Similarly, Nafisi’s group of female students retreats into Nafisi’s house from the strict social and political reality to study banned literature. In this case, the forceful regime is the serious “trauma” the group faces. During their time period, women have severe restrictions and must obey numerous rules outside the home. Instead of coping with the government, the group of young women defies the norms to express their inner selves. Like Julia who escapes into her mind, these students escape reality also, but into literature. Nafisi describes each student and their individuality once they take their robes off (426-427). When the girls take off their black robes, they see each other differently, each with different color clothes and styles. They do not
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exposFIRSTpaper - 1 Micah Chan Professor Nimu Njoya...

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