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Abstract

Disability is part of the human condition. Almost everyone will be temporarily or permanently impaired at some point in life. A person’s environment has a huge impact on the experience and extent of disability. Inaccessible environments create disability by creating barriers to participation and inclusion.  Long term memory loss is also a disability that has a tremendous effect on the victim. Memory is one of Japanese-born British novelist, Kazuo Ishiguro’s enormous themes. Through the illustration of a nationwide circumstance of forgetting, The Buried Giant connects the disability of a nation in remembering it’s past.  The Buried Giant projects an elderly couple of Briton, Axl and Beatrice, set out across the post-Roman post-Arthurian landscape in search of their son who, for causes unknown, no longer lives with them. No one remembers either their individual past or their collective past. As they begin their journey, Axl and Beatrice meet Edwin, a young Saxon boy of unusual experience and abilities, a Saxon warrior called Wistan and an aged Sir Gawain, the nephew of great Arthur, who once ruled those lands. It is understood that years of intense war and bloodshed between the Britons and the Saxons comes to a pause because of the breath of a she-dragon, Querig, as it causes memory loss across the land. The novel pivots on whether memory will be reestablished to the nation, as doing so will have devastatingly negative consequences, as well as positive ones. The paper analyses the lost identities and the fragmented memories due to the disability of the nation as a whole.

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