Through the lens of the land: changing identity in the novels of Bernard MacLaverty.
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Gibson, Jordan Leigh.
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Many critics, like Oona Frawley, believe the land of Ireland has the unique power to connect the collective Irish conscience to the past and is often a rallying cry to garner support for the freedom of Ireland. MacLaverty explores this cultural mindset in Lamb (1980) and Cal (1983) and eventually refutes it as a healthy and effective way for Northern Irish Catholics to identify themselves and find purpose in their lives. Grace Notes (1997), MacLaverty’s third novel, eschews the romantic view of the land, and allows Catherine McKenna to explore the possibilities of finding an international identity through her connection with foreign lands although she still finds strength through her connection with the land. Northern Ireland, it seems, could not provide contemporary citizens with a hope and a future; therefore, they must look towards a transnational identity open to outside influence while being rooted in the local landscape.
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