Merhaba Misafir

“Cultural bereavement” and an Irishman stuck in the past


Considered one of the milestones for his career as a playwright, Brian Friel in his play Philadelphia, Here I Come! (1964), narrates the cultural conflict that his young protagonist Gareth (Gar) O'Donnell experiences right before his migration to America. This article aims to discuss Gar's situation in relation to the term "cultural bereavement" defined by the Australian child psychiatrist and anthropologist Maurice Eisenbruch. Although Gar has not been an immigrant yet, he shows symptoms similar to those described in Eisenbruch's cultural bereavement. As he is isolated and marginalised by his own culture, the life of the protagonist is invaded by an imaginary character and by the memories coming from the past. Besides that, now and then he feels guilty and sad, and sometimes gets angry for the things he could not or did not accomplish in the past. Meanwhile, American culture penetrating into Ireland in the 1960s serves both as an escape and threat for Gar. This study claims that Gar, marginalised by his own culture, experiences "cultural bereavement" even though he has not been an immigrant yet, and that American culture, playing a bilateral role, serves both as an escape from this bereavement and as a threat for his Irish identity.

Yayınlandığı Kaynak : Ankara Üniversitesi Dil ve Tarih-Coğrafya Fakültesi Dergisi
  • Yıl : 2017
  • DOI : 10.1501/Dtcfder_0000001533
  • Cilt : 57
  • ISSN : 0378-2905
  • Sayı : 1
  • Sayfa Aralığı : 687-703
  • IO Kayıt No : 53999
  • Yayıncı : Ankara Üniversitesi Dil ve Tarih Coğrafya Fakültesi