The Bluest Eye by the Nobel prize-winner Toni Morrison furnishes an instructive, even uncanny parallel. The story of the rape of a black American girl by her father, it, too, explores the 'life stories' of the main characters to find an 'explanation'. I was unnerved to read what Ann Thompson said of her marriage breakdown - 'It's so hard to know what went wrong' - having just read the words in the novel by the girl's mother to cope with the same trauma: 'I don't know what all happened.' But in the novel the mother's failure to explain is not compensated for, as in the article, by a psycho-social discourse.
Even if and when the boys do 'tell their own story', will it really be 'their own' and so provide a more authoritative explanation, as Gitta Sereny suggests, given that it will inevitably be filtered through the 'formation' they will have received?
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