In the novel Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry, what are some examples of why Lorena dissociates herself and is traumatized?

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ncchemist eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an interesting question because many of the reasons Lorena Wood begins to disassociate herself from people and activities actually traumatize her as well.  Generally, Lorena has to disassociate herself because she is an attractive blonde prostitute who many men are in love with throughout the book.  Among the love-struck men are Dee Boot, Dish Bogget, Jake Spoon, Augustus McCrae and even Xavier Wanz (who ends up burning down the Dry Bean because of this "love").  Jake Spoon admits Lorena's dissociation in the following quote:

She had a beautiful face, a beautiful body, but also a distance in her such as he had never met in a woman. 

As the story continues, Lorena has to further disassociate herself because of traumatic events: kidnapping and gang rape.  These two traumatizing happenings require disassociation in order to survive.  Blue Duck is the direct reason for both happenings in that he is the kidnapper as well as one of the participants in the gang rape after Lorena's abduction.  Because Agustus McCrae rescues Lorena from this horrible predicament, she falls in love with him.  Even this act of love with Augustus is a disassociation from her former boyfriend, Jake.  In fact, she was involved with Jake Spoon not because of love but because she hoped that he would take her to San Francisco.  Eventually, Lorena has to be left at Clara's farm for recuperation due to the severe beating she endured.  

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Lonesome Dove

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