Term of Award

Summer 2010

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Literature and Philosophy

Committee Chair

Howard Keeley

Committee Member 1

Joe Pellegrino

Committee Member 2

John Murray

Committee Member 3



This thesis addresses the complex relationship between fathers and sons in three highly successful literary texts that grapple with Irish nationalism: Sydney Owenson's The Wild Irish Girl, J.M. Synge's The Playboy of the Western World, and Hugo Hamilton's The Speckled People. Each text comes from a different historical moment, but each of these moments is distinguished by major change, a change so paradigm-shifting as to be worthy of the adjective millennial. While many literary critics have paid huge attention to the figure of Ireland as mother - and, indeed, Ireland in other female roles (Old Woman, beautiful young queen, fabulous Sky Woman) - few have interrogated what role dynamic father-son relationships have in stories; whether novels or plays, conscious of shifting political, social, and cultural realities in Ireland. It is with in this vacuum that I propose the literary device, the father and son trope, as an effective means for developing a discourse on the power struggle that is colonialism.

Research Data and Supplementary Material