The Return Of The Soldier Essay

1972 Words Oct 13th, 2016 8 Pages
Throughout the novel The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West, Kitty Baldry experiences trauma that is constantly controlled by characters who perpetrate patriarchal ideas. Since the death of her son Oliver, Kitty continues to return to his nursery, the symbolic space of this tragedy, in order to repress her trauma and attempt to find new purposes for the room since her husband Chris will not let her change it permanently. Chris’ cousin Jenny also functions as the narrator of the novel and she controls Kitty’s trauma by mocking it and creating a biased characterization. Chris and Jenny take control of Kitty’s trauma by ignoring her experiences and not allowing her to have control over Baldry Court. Kitty’s failure to repress the trauma of her losing her identity as a wife and a mother contributes to how Jenny and Chris function as the patriarchy in order to control the female experience through narrative and space. Throughout the novel, Kitty fails to repress the pain of losing her son by continuing to visit the nursery and attempting to change its purpose. While the novel starts in Oliver’s former nursery, the characters avoid talking about him and the cause of his death. Jenny, mentions, “Everything was there, except Oliver. I turned away so that I might not spy on Kitty revisiting her death” (West 4). The room is full of Oliver’s clothes and toys that all symbolize his life. By Kitty returning to this room, she is constantly reliving her own “death” or trauma of losing…

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