By David Ian Rabey (auth.)
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Extra resources for British and Irish Political Drama in the Twentieth Century: Implicating the Audience
5 In fact, both Irishman and Englishman have the right to reproach the other, but not the grounds to bolster their own complacency at the other's expense. Even Keegan's dream of an ideal future i:> perhaps the thought of a great man, but so out of place in the prevailing circumstances that he concludes 'I am better alone, at the Round Tower, dreaming ofheaven' 6 rather than attempting to translate it into reality. Doyle probably provides the most stable ground for audience sympathy in his awareness of his own shortcomings amongst this pattern of partially attractive, mutually critical viewpoints.
30 Oak Leaves and Lavender, published in 1948, strives to express solidarity with the Allies in World War Two - an objective fraught with potential danger for the author of The Silver Tassie - and negotiates the inherent problems by making the sacrificial hero an Irish communist choosing to fight for 'the people' rather than England, and inspired by the prospect of a collective effort with the Russian Red Army. Indeed, the war has a cathartic effect on the decadent, ghost-ridden mansion of England - a dusty Heartbreak House which is converted into a tankproducing factory.
The ghost-drum of the chanting downand-outs provides a striking cautionary corrective to the glorified image of Drake's drum, but O'Casey's critical response to the prevailing tissue of conciliatory ideals remains as vague as the ideals themselves, an uncertain fusion of economics and religious Kathleen ni Houlihan's Other Island 37 hypocrisy ('Your Christ wears a bowler hat, carries a cane, twiddles his lavender gloves, an' sends out gilt-edged cards of thanks to callers' 25 ). The seasonal cycle against which the action is set seems inappropriate and pretentious, distancing rather than harmonizing the events.
British and Irish Political Drama in the Twentieth Century: Implicating the Audience by David Ian Rabey (auth.)