Un-burying the Buried: Exploring Silence and Generational Trauma in Elif Shafak’s The Island of Missing Trees


  • Dr. Fariha Chaudhary Assistant Professor, Department of English, Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan.
  • Aneeqa Munawar PhD Scholar, Department of English, Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan.


Silence, Trauma, War Narratives, Migration, Displacement


The paper aims at examining the interplay of silence and intergenerational trauma and its effects in Elif Shafak’s latest novel, The Island of Missing Trees (2021). It yearns to demonstrate the fact that personal tragedy developing into collective tragedy is not limited to one generation, rather passes to the next manifesting into many subtle and obvious ramifications. Therefore, Intergenerational trauma and silence as a strategy forms the theoretical underpinnings of the study. The Greek-Turk enmity and the consequent division of the Island in1947, forces the young couple, the Greek Kostas and Turk Dafne, to flee to London. The horrors of division coupled with personal and collective suffering is indescribable as both Dafne and Kostas seek solace, comfort and escape in silence. However, as the study will demonstrate, this silence along with integrational trauma seeps into their daughter, haunting her present. The study significantly points to silence as multifaceted strategy of survival which seems to cause more harm than escape in the long run. It is only through breaking her silence that Ada, the couple’s daughter, comes to terms with herself and accepts her identity.   


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How to Cite

Chaudhary, D. F., & Munawar, A. . (2023). Un-burying the Buried: Exploring Silence and Generational Trauma in Elif Shafak’s The Island of Missing Trees. Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences, 43(2), 203-215. Retrieved from http://pjss.bzu.edu.pk/index.php/pjss/article/view/1264