From Symbol to Symptom — Changing Representations of Fatherhood in Recent Irish Cinema
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In this chapter I would like to consider the changes in the representation of paternity by Irish filmmakers in the years before and during the Celtic Tiger. This intersects with other issues around masculinity but has some very specific circumstances that make it distinctive. In part what I am interested in is discussing how Irish cinema replaced a postcolonial discourse with another, or others, and how this in turn affected the manner in which the figure of the father was depicted on screen. As I would like to suggest, this history of representation follows a trajectory of seeing the Irish father as a symbolic figure, who stands in for a set of ideas surrounding Irish identity, to a realist depiction that intersects with a particular conglomeration of discourses in Irish society around paternity. This, as I will further explore, does not lead to a complete break with the tradition of symbolic representation, but alters it in a very conspicuous manner.
KeywordsSymbolic Figure Absent Father Irish Society Father Figure Irish Time
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