Panel H: The degradation of survivors within “The Butterfly Garden”

Natalia Ramos

Description/Abstract

Dot Hutchison’s “The Butterfly Garden” a fiction-based novel about a group of kidnapped underaged girls being held captive to live in what the author refers to as “gardeners” garden. The story follows the retelling of one of the girls within the garden and the two detectives following the true meaning behind this garden. This novel touches on heavy topics such as sexual violence, rape, kidnapping, pedophilia and other related topics. Upon analyzing this novel certain things make it to the surface, the representation of trauma responses of these characters is not a direct correlation of the “usual” trauma response of a survivor. This brings us to our main argument: what is the “correct” response to a traumatized “victim”? “Trauma Response is what happens when a part of the brain reacts, in the case of sexual attack it gets us ready to either fight the sexual predator or to escape” (Daniels 26). Rather, this novel creates an even more stigmatized version of what a survivor is and the incorrect depiction of a “victim”. After carefully dissecting this novel, conclusions can be drawn that Hutchison attacks what she states is a “victim” and trauma response in a taboo sort of manner. Thus, this brings me back to the original conversation: how can this depiction of trauma and victimization hurt what we know to be true. I challenge the perception of what a survivor is and how this novel destroys what we believe to be true about a survivor and their trauma.

 
Mar 25th, 1:00 PM Mar 25th, 2:00 PM

Panel H: The degradation of survivors within “The Butterfly Garden”

Nesbitt 3212

Dot Hutchison’s “The Butterfly Garden” a fiction-based novel about a group of kidnapped underaged girls being held captive to live in what the author refers to as “gardeners” garden. The story follows the retelling of one of the girls within the garden and the two detectives following the true meaning behind this garden. This novel touches on heavy topics such as sexual violence, rape, kidnapping, pedophilia and other related topics. Upon analyzing this novel certain things make it to the surface, the representation of trauma responses of these characters is not a direct correlation of the “usual” trauma response of a survivor. This brings us to our main argument: what is the “correct” response to a traumatized “victim”? “Trauma Response is what happens when a part of the brain reacts, in the case of sexual attack it gets us ready to either fight the sexual predator or to escape” (Daniels 26). Rather, this novel creates an even more stigmatized version of what a survivor is and the incorrect depiction of a “victim”. After carefully dissecting this novel, conclusions can be drawn that Hutchison attacks what she states is a “victim” and trauma response in a taboo sort of manner. Thus, this brings me back to the original conversation: how can this depiction of trauma and victimization hurt what we know to be true. I challenge the perception of what a survivor is and how this novel destroys what we believe to be true about a survivor and their trauma.