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Julia Cho’s The Piano Teacher: A Site of Trauma and Testimony

  • Journal of Modern English Drama
  • Abbr : JMBARD
  • 2015, 28(2), pp.195-217
  • Publisher : 한국현대영미드라마학회
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Literature > Contemporary English Drama

정광숙 1

1숙명여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper discusses the issues of trauma and testimony in Julia Cho’s The Piano Teacher. Cho presents the characters of different ethnicity who suffer from traumas and has them deliver their testimonies to suggest that the world is becoming an increasingly violent place. Mrs. K, an elderly woman who belongs to the dominant culture and a former piano teacher, is the narrator of the play. She starts talking comfortably about her life but soon reveals that she has an issue from the past, particularly with her late husband. Her husband, a refugee who escaped a genocide at his home country, suffered from trauma and affected his wife and the students who came to take piano lessons from Mrs. K. Cho makes their traumas rise to the surface by having two of Mrs. K’s former students come around and testify. The play includes obvious cases of domestic and “familiar” violence as well as indications of genocide and the characters suffering from “family” trauma and “classic” trauma. Thus Cho depicts the reality of violence and trauma which is prevalent in contemporary world.

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