By Susan Kingsley Kent
This e-book examines the effect of collective trauma coming up out of the good battle at the politics of the Twenties in Britain. Aftershocks reviews how meanings of shellshock and imagery providing the traumatized psyche as shattered contributed to Britons understandings in their political selves within the Twenties. It connects the strength of feelings to the political tradition of a decade which observed amazing violence opposed to these considered as un-English.
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Extra info for Aftershocks: The Politics of Trauma in Britain, 1918-1931
19 The affective reticence characteristic of Britons, joined with public calls for the bereaved not to wear mourning clothes—“in England,” Playne explained, “outward signs of mourning were taboo”—compelled many to bury their grief and put a good face on things, compounding the damage done by the deaths of their loved ones. Officially discouraged from expressing their grief for fear of contributing to the demoralization of the country in wartime, parents who had lost their children, in particular, found themselves under the most terrible stress imaginable.
5 These visions of sexuality in which women had become fully as unrestrained as men threatened traditional gender and sexual arrangements. For many, the opportunity to contribute to national life, to work and to be well paid, was a rewarding and exhilarating experience, one that they would not easily have turned their backs on upon the conclusion of hostilities. The independence and autonomy they had found during the war could be construed as having been achieved at the expense of men, to whom they had no intention of relinquishing their freedoms.
Gibbs blamed “the seeds of insanity in the brains of men” on the “abnormal life of war” and on women who gave them venereal disease. In this version, the war and women become confused. “Sexually [the men] were starved,” he argued. For months they lived out of the sight and presence of women. But they came back into villages or towns where they were tempted by any poor slut who winked at them and infected them with illness. com - licensed to University of South Florida - PalgraveConnect - 2011-04-30 36 Jews, “Blacks,” and the Promises of Radical Conservatism, 1919–1925 37 The return of the soldier to a Britain in which women played a much larger role in politics and the economy than ever before was seen to pose a serious threat to the stability of the country, marked by disorder in virtually every realm of life—political, social, economic, and personal.
Aftershocks: The Politics of Trauma in Britain, 1918-1931 by Susan Kingsley Kent