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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Irish Through and Through

One character in James Joyce's "Ivy Day" we do not hear much from or of is Mr. Crofton. Upon his entrance into the committee room we are informed that "[Mr. Crofton] was silent for two reasons. The first reason, sufficient in itself, was that he had nothing to say; the second reason was that he considered his companions beneath him"(111). We are also told that Mr. Crofton is a conservative canvassing for the nationalists since his man was withdrawn from the election. Due to his subtle presence and relation to the other characters in the story I find it quite significant that he is given the last words of the piece. In regards to Mr. Hyne's recitation of The Death of Parnell, "Mr. Crofton said it was a very fine piece of writing"(116). Such a comment is a nationalistically bonding remark. This collection of men in the committee room, though varying in their political views and social classes, are still Irish and proud of their national figures and their patriots. Nurturing this notion is the mutual respect shown for Parnell by both Crofton calling Parnell a gentleman and the rest of the party wearing their ivy leaves on their lapels. Such is proof of the social and political upheaval that united and divided Ireland in its quest for sovereignty.

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