France in Shock from its Revolution
The study of psychological trauma has not only been a 20th Century phenomenon: ancient writers (e.g. the early Hebrews, Greeks and Christians) have commented on the effect of traumatic events on different societies, trying to understand the impact on individuals of war, political oppression and other related situations. This chapter reports the first-hand observations of literary, political and religious figures to the individual and societal upheavals brought on by the French Revolution. The destruction of social structures and cultural systems of reference, and their subsequent replacement by new forms of language and norms, were analysed by literary and political figures in order to help them make sense of what was happening to their society, and to come to terms with the upheaval that they were enduring in this period.
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