PAPER4FIGHTINIRISH - 1 The Fightin Irish Attitudes...

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The Fightin’ Irish Attitudes, behaviors, and memories seem to have a way of passing through generations of a nation. This could be explained by living in their environment, stories passed down through history, or even genetic memory. Whichever of the reasons it may be, the people of Ireland have many to be nicknamed “fighting Irish” for. The nickname gives many images and memories to different people. Some might think of Notre Dame, an aggressive red-haired friend, or for others the civil unrest and violence that plagued Ireland for years. With all of Ireland’s history, it is easy to see why the people have acquired that nickname. Much of Ireland’s literary work is reflective of this violence as well. By taking a look at a few pieces of Irish literature we can get a closer look into Ireland’s violence and its’ apparent disposition towards it. The reoccurrence of violence in Ireland’s literature is undeniable, and the Irish’s violence with Britain and themselves explain why they are apparently drawn to violence in their lives. The Irish have a damn good reason to be resistant to the British. Whether it’s referring to the war of Irish independence, the initial English takeover of the island and the plantations, or Oliver Cromwell, the two nations have a long and stretched violent history. The hostility and resistance towards England is a theme that is extremely prevalent in Irish literature, whether it is a central theme of a small reference in a work. Blatant violence against England is referenced to the Anglo-Irish war or the Troubles, though a lot of this is against actual Britons who have come to Ireland. The presence of British military causes resentment, as the soldiers are an easy force to antagonize. In 1
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Eugene McCabe’s “Cancer”, the presence of British soldiers in response to the Trillick bombing causes unease to Dinny and Boyle of the story. Dinny’s attitude towards the soldiers is easy to see as he yells at a helicopter, “I hope to Jasus yis are blown to shit!” (McCabe 1). The expression of violence is something that he can shrug off as he says it with a grin. The faceless English military will eventually leave the island, as opposed to the Irish-Brits who dwell in Ireland. The resentment against Irish-born Brits runs much deeper as it is more personal. This sort of hostility towards the English is especially present in “The Distant Past” by William Trevor. The Middletons of Carraveagh in the story are an old and well-known English family that’s lived in Ireland for generations,
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PAPER4FIGHTINIRISH - 1 The Fightin Irish Attitudes...

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