Download Bernard Shaw’s Irish Outlook by David Clare PDF

By David Clare

Utilizing shut readings of Shaw's performs and letters, in addition to archival learn, David Clare illustrates that Shaw on a regular basis positioned Irish, Irish Diasporic, and surrogate Irish characters into his performs to be able to touch upon Anglo-Irish relatives and to discover the character of Irishness.

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Can possibly know”; this knowledge was gained while working in an estate office in Dublin as a young man, in a job which required him to “collect . . 4 Shaw elected to endow his rude but winning phonetics professor with an Irish name, because he wanted to signal that Higgins is an Englishman of Irish descent. Those who watch or read Pygmalion are meant to understand that the professor’s Englishness is 21 22 Bernard Shaw’s Irish Outlook somewhat altered by an outside cultural influence, which explains why he is so at odds with the society in which he lives and why he can analyze it so coldly and sharply.

His most substantial, and also most subtle, portrait of an Irish Diasporic person is Henry Higgins, an Englishman of Irish descent, whose Irish background Shaw sees as having helped to give him his “sane” ideas regarding language and social class; as Shaw puts it in the preface to John Bull’s Other Island, “England cannot do without its Irish . . ”99 Henry Higgins is Shaw’s tribute to the many Irish Diasporic people who have brought fresh perspectives and dynamic, revolutionary energy to the new countries which they (and their families) have gradually learned to call home.

45 However, Shaw himself admitted in a letter that, through his father George Carr Shaw, he was descended from the Fennells of Cappoquin, Co. Waterford, who (he neglects to add) were probably of Gaelic Catholic origin. 47 Complicating matters further, Shaw was always unsure about his paternity, believing that his biological father may have actually been his mother’s music teacher, George John Vandeleur Lee. As Peter Gahan and John O’Donovan have noted, “in [Shaw’s] copious writings on Lee . .

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