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When Thoreau remarks on the “blighted prospects” of the St. John victims, “all their plans and hopes burst like a bubble!,” he touches upon a dark irony and a topos that would become a commonplace in future literature by and about the Irish in North America — that of dreams coming to naught on the verge of the New World or falling by the wayside later, of children lost in translation, of survivors haunted by and reenacting aspects of the famine and diaspora trauma across generations (Cape Cod 13, 15). It is the syndrome whereby the journey of hope becomes instead the long-day’s-journey-into-night, and the brig St. John might serve as its symbol.
KeywordsIrish Family Irish Home Irish Immigrant Irish Parent Irish Culture
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