Building Resilience and Interconnectedness among Humans and Nonhuman Entities: Aminatta Forna's Happiness
Sarikaya Sen, Merve
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Using the theoretical tools provided by the conceptualisations of resilience and interconnectedness, this article carries out a comprehensive analysis of Aminatta Forna's Happiness (2008). The starting hypothesis explored in this article is that Happiness represents the transformational process of suffering and/or psychological wounds through the reparative agency of interconnectedness among humans as well as between humans and animals. Accordingly, this article will first demonstrate how the novel represents the possibility of healing one's psychological wounds through the stories of Attila and Jean, the two protagonists falling in love after a chance encounter. It will then explore how the novel presents the necessity of establishing relationality between the self and the other in coping with adversities. Finally, it will elaborate on the indispensable coexistence between humans and animals in the novel, which provides the characters with the possibility for achieving the ecological self. In doing so, this article will demonstrate that Happiness succeeds in representing the need for an interdependent world and the impossibility of a sovereign self in order to achieve happiness in the contemporary age.