Domestic Unrest And Jennifer Johnston 's Fiction Of The Irish Trouble

1118 WordsApr 30, 20155 Pages
One of the critics who discuss Johnston’s work is Laila Khan. In her essay, “Domestic Unrest and Jennifer Johnston’s Fiction of the Irish Trouble,” Khan focuses on how Johnston’s novels do not concentrate on the violence happening in the nation, but instead how she “uses Irish domestic fictions to explored alternative approaches to friendships and family bonds that could exist when women reject nationalist narratives” (2). Khan’s essay analyzes these trends in relationship to the mothers in Johnston’s The Railway Station Man and Shadows on Our Skin. While women often are representative of Ireland in Irish fictions, Khan notes that Johnston purposely creates mothers that “refuses to act as mouthpieces for national rhetoric in the home, choosing instead passivity or alternative kinships as what they see as the only escape” (3). An example of this from Shadows on Our Skin is the way the Mrs. Logan “has sent her eldest son Brendon off to England in hopes of keeping him safe” (3). According to Khan, the purpose of this is to keep him away from “his pro-Nationalist father, [and] also out of the Irish public sphere” (3). In The Railway Station Man, Helen “is less interested in protesting political involvement than she is in escaping it entirely (6). It is because of this that Helen is unlike many mother, she does not “force her son to owe her anything” (9). This analysis differs from the one that will be examined in this paper because, while the mother is an important figure, she

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