Rebel narratives : the Irish gunman in fiction and film

Farquharson, Danine Elizabeth (2001) Rebel narratives : the Irish gunman in fiction and film. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This project investigates the many representations of Irish gunmen in narratives, both in print and on the screen. While the Irish gunman is often perceived as a figure of romantic legend and patriotic idealism, the character - as he exists within narrative - is more accurately a figure of lost hope, doomed ambition, and imprisoned ideals. -- The thesis is divided into four chapters; the first two are broadly historical and descriptive, while the second two are close readings of specific writers/filmmakers' work. Chapter one answers the question of how the gunman comes to be represented in fiction and film. The fictional representation of the gunman is part of a series of discursive practices such as mythology, eighteenth-century chapbooks, political stereotypes, theories of identity and nationalism, and the history of Fenianism and Irish Republicanism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Each of these contribution factors in the make-up of the narrative gunman is examined at length. Chapter two examines the different representations of Irish gunmen characters. Beginning with romantic heroes and unromantic villains, the chapter moves on to more ambiguous characterizations, such as lost boys, gunmen on the run, and the seldom acknowledged but theoretically challenging female gunman. Chapter three analyzes the early twentieth-century novels of Liam O'Flaherty - many of which satirize and criticize the heroicization of Irish republican rebels. Chapter four concludes the thesis by looking at the films of Irish director Neil Jordan and the ways in which his psychological probing into the minds of gunmen resist, if not rebel against, the stereotype of the romantic Irish patriot. -- "Rebel Narratives: The Irish Gunman in Fiction and Film" offers a critical consideration of a character that has seldom come under inquiry, but that is nonetheless both politically contentious and frequently represented in narrative texts. More generally, the project contributes to on-going debates about identity, nationalism and cultural stereotypes by emphasizing, on the one hand, the durability of stereotypes and, on the other hand, the resistance to rigid codes of character and identity expressed in literary and cinematic texts.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 7153
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [292]-311.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > English Language and Literature
Date: 2001
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Irish in literature; Irish in motion pictures; Revolutionaries in literature; Revolutionaries--Ireland

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