Heart Berries Themes

Mailhot, Terese Marie
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Generational Trauma and Inheritance

As she explores her childhood and the lives of her parents, Terese Marie Mailhot questions the nature of intergenerational trauma and wonders what she has inherited from her family. When writing about her father, who was physically and sexually abusive as well as an alcoholic, Terese cautions against the danger of portraying him as a monster since that would inherently mean that she herself is part monster as well. The implication of this meditation is that some aspects of inheritance are unavoidable and predetermined. However, Terese works to subvert the stereotypical images of both her father and of her inheritance. Furthermore, the idea of generational trauma and inheritance is not merely personal in the relationship between parent and child. It is also cultural through Terese's identity as an Indigenous woman. While she has inherited the stories and symbols of her culture, she has also inherited...

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This section contains 1,810 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Heart Berries Study Guide
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