Us Against You Themes & Motifs

Fredrik Backman
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Psychological Effects of Trauma

Through many of his characters, the author explores the psychological effects of trauma on the individual’s interiority.

In the case of Maya’s rape, the girl must not only reconcile herself with the violence directed towards her, but must channel her emotions away from violence and towards healing. At the start of the novel, the reader learns Maya threatened Kevin with a shotgun on the running track. Maya also dreams about killing Kevin every night. These violent reactions to the violence Maya’s suffered are natural and justified, yet through Maya’s story, the author challenges the reader to consider alternate responses to trauma. Later in the novel when Maya has a panic attack after her brother Leo accidentally bumps her, Leo leads her to Jeanette. Jeanette begins to teach Maya martial arts. The sport is not a means for Maya to...

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This section contains 1,685 words
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Buy the Us Against You Study Guide
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