The Relationship Between Gender and Trauma in Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch”

By Katie K. Strubel – The Goldfinch (2013) by Donna Tartt is a novel that explores the conditions of grief and escalating lengths characters will go to survive the traumas and mysteries of life. This story of guilt and loss—intermixed with love and longing—is far detached from the traditional coming-of-age trope. I argue that one of the most tantalizing aspects found in this piece of literary fiction is the fascinating and sometimes questionable relationship between main characters, Theodore Decker and Boris Pavlikovsky. Reading this novel through a queer/gender studies lens and the use of a dialogic journal…