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The Portrayal Analysis Of John Conroy's Belfast Diary

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Conroy’s analysis of Northern Ireland is, in the simplest of terms, refreshing. Convoy’s attention to detail and analysis when describing Jimmy Barr’s dealing with the Housing Executive’s, when discussing the hunger strikes, and when discussing the plight of those who live in the Divis Flats all support the notion that Conroy has an understanding of Northern Ireland, even though he’s an outsider. John Conroy’s Belfast Diary is an example of how an outsider can provide a reliable analysis into the communal violence that has consumed Northern Ireland. I believe that Conroy’s outsider perspective, combined with his choice to immerse himself into the culture of Belfast allowed him to write a story that leaves out major biases, a story that…show more content…
His immersion into the culture of Northern Ireland made him less of an outsider in terms of ability to gain information, but he still could use his outsider perspective in analyzing what he obtained. Conroy’s choice to live in the ghetto was just the beginning of what made him equipped to tell the story of Ireland. Equally important to immersing oneself in Belfast is having the ability to not take sides, or favor one group or ideology or person over the other, a challenge that Conroy undertook. Throughout Belfast Diary, Conroy works through dense and complex information regarding the various police forces, paramilitaries, and British military groups that reside in the North with the Catholics and Protestants. While reading Conroy’s pages long analysis of the variety of groups, it becomes clear that these groups within Northern Ireland cannot be deemed “good” or “bad”. Labeling a group with such complexities would be falling into the trap of being an ill-equipped outsider. Rather, Conroy implies that one needs to develop an understanding that each group serves a purpose for the community that it’s serving. Conroy explains that each group benefits the community they’re serving almost equally as much as it is disadvantaged by the group. In other words, Conroy explains that the relationship is give and take, it’s not something that is understood at
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