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Kara McShane

Committee Member

Jay Shelat

Committee Member

Johanna Mellis

Committee Member

Talia Argondezzi

Department Chair

Kara McShane

Project Description

This paper seeks to answer the question “How did Ireland create a unique identity after gaining independence from England?” In order to answer that question, I analyzed five different Irish authors who wrote in a timeframe spanning the first half of the twentieth century. These authors are W.B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, Elizabeth Bowen, James Joyce, and Samuel Beckett. These authors, at one point or another, wrote texts which are considered Irish, while living abroad. Because of this, this paper focuses on their status as expatriates, and how that influenced their contributions to the Irish Literary Revival, which is the literary movement in which these authors were writing in. Among these authors, common themes and figures emerged, including the subjects of the youth, martyr, and peasant, the rural and urban setting, and an inclusion of mythology, both Irish and classical, and the Irish language. This paper argues that what these authors chose to write about reflected their anxieties, hopes, and frustrations about Ireland as an independent country.