Conflict And Conflict In The Distant Past By William Trevor

2034 Words9 Pages
The Distant Past is a short story, wrote by William Trevor, addresses the interweaving of the past and present. At first in the story, it seems as if the past tensions between the British and Irish have evaporated and happening a good cultural encounter but later in the story, this assumption proves to be untrue. It depicts the lives of two descendants of the Protestant Middleton family and “Old Irish” inhabitants in a time of the Troubles in the 1970s. The story focuses on the conflict between the Irish-Catholic townspeople and the brother and sister of the Middleton Family, who are loyal to the Protestant British, and there were the main characters in this story. Conflicts between the two religions date back to the 12th century when…show more content…
Both the inhabitants of the town and Middletons are shocked and unhappy about the events, they share the same opinion on the situation. At first, it seems that the violence in the different country will not change the relationship between Middletons and their friends. But gradually with disappearing the atmosphere of tolerance and acceptance from the town, and the people losing their fortunes and they remember the unsettled past. The ideas start to be suspicious towards Middletons for their affinity with England the lingering connection between the Middletons, England, and past makes them ostracised again, the same way as they were in the ‘distant past’. And start to avoid them. The people start to behave towards Middletons the same way as they did in the ‘distant past’. Then got back the old animosity of the locals versus Middletons, even though they do not have anything to do with wakening the Troubles is again. The siblings lose the respect and friends. After many years of tolerance and friendship, they become ostracised the same way as they were in the past. Middletons do not expect that the tolerance they enjoyed before will return. However, the unsettled situation causes, that the tourists, the source of income to many locals, stop coming to the area because they are afraid of the violence. The town stops flourishing. “As anger rose in the town at the loss of fortune so there rose also the kind of talk there had been in the distant past. There was the talk of atrocities and counter-atrocities, and of guns and gelignite and the rights of people”. With the loss of prosperity, people start to remember the violence and suspicions, which they felt in the past. The coming of British soldiers in Northern Ireland reminds the old times as well. Gradually, the locals stop talking to Middletons, who were
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