This Is What I Inherit: Domestic Elegy in the Poetry of Medbh McGuckian and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
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This thesis looks at how aspects of elegy are reworked in the domestic setting in Medbh McGuckian’s Captain Lavender and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s The Girl who Married the Reindeer. Divided into three parts, it first examines the oppression of women through motherhood in McGuckian’s ‘Porcelain Bells’ and Ní Chuilleanáin’s ‘Translation’ and ‘Bessboro’. It then moves on to discuss the relationship between the father and the fatherland in McGuckian’s ‘Elegy for an Irish Speaker’ and ‘The Aisling Hat’, as well as in Ní Chuilleanáin’s ‘In Her Other House’. Finally, it examines the connection between Irish conflict, particularly the Troubles, and the domestic setting in McGuckian’s ‘The Albert Chain’ and ‘Credenza’ and ‘Ní Chuilleanáin’s ‘A Stray’. This thesis concludes that in these poems, aspects of elegy are reworked in the domestic setting through an extension of personal grief and anger to larger issues concerning oppression and a national loss of culture and history.