Cycles of Violence, Cycles of Trauma in Toni Morrison’s Jazz

Olfa Drid


By excavating the psyches and violent behaviors of Joe and Violet in Jazz, this article aims at unveiling the danger of silencing past traumas- instead of healing them- which may entail a chain of connected traumas and even unexpected aberrations that can culminate in violence and murder. Besides, this study ascribes the violence of the African American community to the transgenerational trauma of slavery, which caused the pain of Blacks and the shame of Whites.  This paper is therefore a psychoanalytic reading of the novel based on the trauma theories of Cathy Caruth, Sigmund Freud, Dominick LaCapra as well as on Nicolas Abraham and Maria Torok’s theories of “the crypt” and “the phantom”. 


trauma, belatedness, incubation period, transference, crypt

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