Term of Award

Spring 2022

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

Committee Chair

Dustin Anderson

Committee Member 1

Howard Keeley

Committee Member 2

Olivia Carr Edenfield


James Joyce and Kate O’Brien remind readers and scholars alike to take notice of the seemingly insignificant details of a piece of literature and dig deeper to discover the many layers of truth and history that can lie, waiting to be found, under a single word. Such is the beauty and mystery of literature in its ability not only to tell a story but also give voice to hundreds of other stories that have yet to be told. In the case of Joyce’s “The Dead” and O’Brien’s Without My Cloak, the truth of nearly two hundred years and the lives of countless women are forever held within the plot and details surrounding the Conroys and the Considines. Because of the authors’ respective approach and portrayal of their female characters and the circumstances in which they find themselves, a conversation has stemmed from the study of two literary texts that acknowledges the hardships and obstacles that women have faced and the road it has paved for society today. Through subtle hints, dialogue, and the circumstances of characters like Gretta, Lily, and Christina and her mother, both Joyce and O’Brien also lead into a conversation around the Magdalene Laundries and their abuse of women and children. Through Joyce and O’Brien, as well as the study of their works, the history and suffering of Irish women is remembered and reminds one to continue working for justice and equality while honoring those who dreamed of a better world.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material