Jaycee Dugan endured those very same things and the main purpose of her writing her memoir, A Stolen Life was to give people who haven’t been subjected to such an extreme level of abuse an understanding of what it takes to survive being kidnapped and repeatedly raped and the toll it can take on a person, let alone an eleven year old girl who hadn’t even known these types of things could happen. A tactic Dugan used to give a general understanding of her suffering was her constant acts of defiance. Another tactic displayed by Dugan was her use of pop culture references. Also
Dugan gives way for her readers to relate to her work through keeping a positive tone when she writes about Phillip and Nancy Carried. Altogether she has been able to survive the punishment of Phillip Carried through these tactics. Part of how Dugan attempts to display her mental endurance in her writing is through her constant acts of defiance toward Carried. Dugan does admit that her acts of defiance aren’t the most extreme but enough to get her through the day. An example of this could be her claim of not performing certain acts as well as she normally could such as masturbating him.
Also during intercourse struggling away from Carried enough to where he may not get angry and hurt her but still enough to where she felt like she had gotten away with it, sort of like a moral victory for her (56). Readers can notice how Dastard’s tone can go from a sad to a somewhat happy tone when she discusses her “victories”, such as when Carried makes her Jack him off and she purposely doesn’t do as well as she knows she can. The readers can understand why someone in Dastard’s situation would have to be able to take these small things and use them to keep her will in these tough circumstances.
Another way Dugan quietly wins against Carried is through keeping her Journal (78-93, 165-196). She clearly writes what no rapist in their right mind would allow their sex prisoner to write and he doesn’t have any clue that it is going on. An example can be the 4 affirmations that she wrote On December 18, 2003, “1. Only I can make it happen. 2. I control what I eat. 3. Every day I become the person that I want to be. 4. I have the strength to do everything I set my mind to. ” (181). Dugan speaks about her family, old childhood friends and the memorable moments she has with them.
The sense Dugan is getting of knowing she is doing something that Carried doesn’t want her to De along also gloves near Tanat mental willing Telling Tanat most vellums don’t get to experience. Aside from slight defiance Dugan maintains her sanity through keeping a positive attitude toward her captors which takes some of the tension away when she is around them but not being abused. An idea of her tone can be felt when she says “Everything will be okay I tell myself. He will be the nice person soon. The one that likes to make me laugh and brings me good things to eat” (54).
Dugan doesn’t ant to believe that Carried is this horrible monster all the time. A problem like that needs to have some light shed on it to be endurable. If she had got the feeling that he is some horrible person who is going to rape her all the time and not the nice person who tells her funny Jokes and brings her food sometimes, then there is no way she could have kept her mental stability for those eighteen years. Another example of keeping a good thought about her captors could be taken from the quote “Phillip seemed like a nice guy when he wasn’t using me for sex”. 33-34). She felt like side from the part when he was raping her, Carried was usually a half decent person. Her writing notes him sometimes as if he was Just some misunderstood man, and not an actual villain, who has committed these horrible crimes. Dugan doesn’t want to know exactly how bad Carried really is, because she won’t be able to hold on to her piece of mind. Dastard’s last notable tactic of preserving her sanity is through her constant pop culture references. Television played a huge role in Dastard’s life throughout her captivity.
The fact that Carried allowed her access to television after a ewe months had a great impact on her process of dealing with him. Sometimes Nancy and Philip would also watch movies with Dugan in celebration of her birthdays, attributing to her sometimes positive feelings for them (65). Dugan notes remembering movies such as Nightmare on Elm Street, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Unborn, and Charlotte Web (66-67). These were some of her only connections to the outside world and she used them to keep herself somewhat up to date. Dugan also reminisces about how her favorite movie to watch with her aunt Tina was The Little Mermaid (64).
The purpose of writing about all of these different movies was to provide the reader with a sense of how she was able to use this tactic to make it through the years of captivity. Also on Christmas of 1993, her 90th day of being captured, she watched the today show and played super Mario brothers to deal with the isolation (73). She was alone most of that day and she had been spending most days alone at that time, unless Carried came in for a “run”. For the readers to have an idea of the mental toughness required to maintain sanity after being repeatedly raped for eighteen years is the sole purpose behind Jaycee
Dastard’s A Stolen Life. Dugan has won this eighteen year battle through her constant yet small acts of defiance. Keeping herself in the position to not be hurt but still resist such a great punishment. And through sometimes holding a positive tone while writing about her captors. And the situations involving them outside of the rape scenes. Lastly she has survived through her pop culture references which in her text remind the readers that Dugan was young and didn’t have any special skill to endure all of the punishments that were dealt to her throughout her time with the Garrisons.