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Show how the Writer deals with the social consequences of emigration on the live of the characters portrayed in the Irish short stories studied in class.

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English Literature coursework Show how the Writer deals with the social consequences of emigration on the live of the characters portrayed in the Irish short stories studied in class. In the mid nineteenth century in Ireland a disease spread among the potato crop, which was the staple diet for thousands. The potato blight destroyed most of the potato crop and this cause many deaths through starvation and malnutrition. Hundreds of thousands of people left Ireland in seek of a better life. Many went to England and some to Australia but most went to America. When they reached their destinations they were often disappointed by the harsh reality that met them. Some were successful and became wealthy but most lived impoverished hard lives in American cities where conditions were almost as bad as in Ireland. Many young people moved away from rural villages and towns to go to America in search of good fortune. The first story "Going Into Exile," Is a story of a young brother and sister from a small Island off the west coast of Ireland. It is a small Island with a closely-knit community. At the beginning of the story the whole community gather in the Feeny household for a leaving party to celebrate the impending emigration of Michael and Mary. ...read more.


The mother is particularly depressed by the thought of her children leaving her she feels a physical pain. "It seemed like a thin bar of some metal thrust itself forward from her brain and rested behind the wall of her forehead." We hear a mention of a distressing image of the youngest child with the bad chest. He is hugging the dog and is crying because he senses the tremendous sense of sorrow. His brother and sister will be leaving soon but he will not be able to go with them to the port. We can already see the negative consequence this separation is having on the family. The Feeny family have stayed up through the night and after the guests have left they sit down to their last breakfast together the mother wants her children around her for the last time. The father tries make the day seem as normal as possible by sending his children out to do the normal chores. This seems to be his way of dealing with the tragedy of his two oldest children leaving. He does not tell Mary and Michael to do their normal tasks; this causes them to feel distance from their family already they feel like "homeless wanderers," This story would have been common in many parts of rural Ireland particularly in the second half of the nineteenth century as children were leaving their homeland in search of a better life across the ocean. ...read more.


The community celebrate the engagement with a small party but during the celebrations the local parish priest calls to the house and tells them to stop their drinking and dancing and the locals submissively abide with his religious authority. Bryden is worried about the compliance of the local people to the priest's strict rules. This incident and a letter from a friend in America makes him strongly doubt his decision to stay and settle in Duncannon. He has to reconsider, he will choose between the drab countryside and primitive people of Ireland or the free energetic pace of America. He decides not to stay and quickly returns to America, which obviously hurts Margaret and will bring her shame and notoriety in the village. In later years America Brings prosperity for Bryden and he gets married to another woman and has children. He appears to be happy with is life in America but in his old age he remembers longingly the homeland. Is this just the wistful thinking of a man in his old age or is Bryden's heart still in Ireland? We see the significance of the story's title and understand that the writer is exploring the nature of "home." Is it a place or a state of mind? Emigration has brought personal anguish to the characters in both stories but it has also brought hopes and dreams that were not satisfied in their insular close-knit communities of rural Ireland. 1 ...read more.

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