Literature Study GuidesGuests Of The Nation

Guests of the Nation | Study Guide

Frank O'Connor

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Course Hero. "Guests of the Nation Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 June 2019. Web. 25 June 2022. <>.

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Course Hero. (2019, June 28). Guests of the Nation Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 25, 2022, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2019)



Course Hero. "Guests of the Nation Study Guide." June 28, 2019. Accessed June 25, 2022.


Course Hero, "Guests of the Nation Study Guide," June 28, 2019, accessed June 25, 2022,



Frank O'Connor

Year Published



Short Story


Historical Fiction

Perspective and Narrator

"Guests of the Nation" is narrated in the first person from the perspective of Bonaparte, one of the Irish Republican soldiers. This perspective allows the reader to experience the camaraderie between the men and the subsequent dramatic turn as if seeing through the eyes of one of the men involved.


"Guests of the Nation" is narrated in the past tense. A few times during the story, the narrator switches to present tense, creating a sense of immediacy.

About the Title

The guests of the nation referred to in the title are the British soldiers who are being held hostage in another country. From the Irish Republican perspective, the British are foreigners in Ireland. The use of the term guests is a verbally ironic description of the soldiers' situation. They are not guests; they are hostages, captured in wartime. It also evokes the strangely hospitable treatment the soldiers are receiving at the beginning of the story, in which they seem almost to be part of the group. The logic of wartime and enmity asserts itself as the story goes on, and the true status of the "guests" is revealed.


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