Space, identity, and conflict in Elizabeth Bowen and Deirdre Madden.
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Clark, Sarah Elizabeth, 1985-
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This thesis argues that there exists a fundamental relationship between space and identity construction and that this correlation becomes more apparent during periods of conflict. Because space plays a key role in identity construction, the lack of a proper space or an intrusion of that space has negative consequences for the individual. The oppression of a space can hinder individuation, and the loss of a formerly positive space causes a disruption that can be traumatic. While the relationship between space and identity is evident during periods of peace or normalcy, the strength of this connection becomes even more apparent during conflict—both personal and political. Elizabeth Bowen’s The Last September, set during the Anglo-Irish Troubles, and Deirdre Madden’s One by One in the Darkness, set during the Northern Troubles, both demonstrate the relationship between space and identity and how it is threatened by conflict.