Recalling Psychological Trauma in Ama Ata Aidoo’s Anowa

Leqa’a Salam Abu-Mahfouz


Through examining the text of the play Ama Ata Aidoo’s Anowa (1970); this paper shows the psychological trauma and social impact of colonization in Anowa’s life; the main character in the play of the same name; which depicts the postcolonial psychological trauma of individuals as an indisputable consequence of colonization. Aidoo uses the memories and flashbacks which are also common symptoms of trauma to evoke rooted trauma through returning to the history of slavery in the Gold Coast (Ghana) also, to make the painful memories alive in the traumatized person’s psyche and she/he still suffers from the psychological traumatic experience. This paper reveals Aidoo’s techniques for portraying traumas, its effects, and reactions in the frame of analyzing literary portrayals of oppressed people through drama, which was embodied here by Anowa as a victim overwhelmed by psychological trauma in every aspect of her life. Different defense mechanisms such as denial, projection, isolation, regression, displacement and sublimation show in Anowa’s reactions, feelings; and thoughts; to reduce the effects of trauma on her psyche. Anowa, subjected to overwhelming stress or intolerable pain, uses this technique to express the impact of persecution when she remembers the past in her childhood. To this end, the researcher argues that the damage of the individual psychology as a traumatic effect of colonization; is an undeniable fact.


Psychological trauma; Ama ata aidoo; Anowa; Post-colonial drama

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