Next Article in Journal
How Karen Tei Yamashita Literalizes Feminist Subversion: Extreme Domesticity, Space-Off Reversals, and Virtual Resistances in Tropic of Orange
Next Article in Special Issue
Meeting the Enemy in World War I Poetry: Cognitive Dissonance as a Vehicle for Theme
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Enemy and Officers in Emilio Lussu’s Un anno sull’Altipiano
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Humanities 2019, 8(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8010027

The Making of a Terrorist: Imagining Combatants’ Points of View in Troubles Literature

Department of English, Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL 36608, USA
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 4 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 February 2019 / Published: 8 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue War and Literature: Commiserating with the Enemy)
Full-Text   |   PDF [234 KB, uploaded 28 February 2019]

Abstract

This article analyzes portrayals of paramilitary fighters in Irish literature from the Troubles (1968–1998). While the conflict between Protestant loyalists and Catholic nationalists has provoked many literary responses, most focus on noncombatants. This article reads Edna O’Brien’s novel House of Splendid Isolation (1994) and Anne Devlin’s story “Naming the Names” (1986), two texts that succeed in portraying paramilitary characters as complex individuals who are not wholly defined by their violent acts, but each reaches a limit of imagination as well. In House of Splendid Isolation the paramilitary character Mac chooses silence over justifying himself to a hostile audience, and in “Naming the Names” the stream of consciousness style becomes increasingly fragmented, suggesting the paramilitary narrator is on the verge of a breakdown. As a result, both characters remain enigmatic, with aspects of their motives and thinking not fully intelligible. Both texts show that it is a struggle for a noncombatant to understand a paramilitary’s point of view, but these texts make readers want to engage in that struggle. View Full-Text
Keywords: Irish literature; Northern Ireland; political conflict; terrorism; Edna O’Brien; Anne Devlin; fiction Irish literature; Northern Ireland; political conflict; terrorism; Edna O’Brien; Anne Devlin; fiction
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Callan, S. The Making of a Terrorist: Imagining Combatants’ Points of View in Troubles Literature. Humanities 2019, 8, 27.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Humanities EISSN 2076-0787 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top