The tale is a familiar one: But there is something different about the way in which this story is written.
Without these orders, men can coexist peacefully, and even joyously despite their different beliefs, but with these orders, men destroy themselves by destroying one another in a battle of morality versus duty.
In order for any story to act as an effective cautionary tale, it must provoke an emotional response, and for this to happen the reader must connect emotionally to the characters.
To facilitate this, the narrative is carefully crafted to influence how the reader interprets the events and characters. The story is told from a first-person perspective by one of the soldiers, Bonaparte, who tends to observe rather than act: Initially, the situation and the backgrounds of each person are left vague, instead focusing on Hawkins, Belcher, Noble, and Bonaparte and their card games.
Only after witnessing Hawkins, Belcher, Noble, and Bonaparte play cards is the situation explained, after the readers have gotten a snapshot of the typical evening between the Englishmen and the Irish soldiers; in other words, the readers get an account of Belcher and Hawkins as equals, not enemies, which is exactly the way that Bonaparte would view them, which in turn leads the reader to view them as such.
The relationships of Hawkins and Belcher with the soldiers, as well as the old woman that is currently quartering them, work symbolically to show how, despite their differences, human beings are equal. The description of the card games by Bonaparte works well to illustrate this idea: He could have fleeced myself and Noble, but whatever we lost to him Hawkins lost to us, and Hawkins played with the money Belcher gave him.
With games proceeding with each character losing any money that they happened to win, no character wins or loses.
Hawkins keeps borrowing money from Belcher, but keeps losing it to Noble and Bonaparte, while Noble and Bonaparte keep winning money from Hawkins but in turn keep losing it to Belcher, and the process starts anew.
This shows that, with the patience to listen, different ideas can be conveyed and reconciled between even antagonistic cultures. In the introduction, the reader is shown a scene highlighting the friendship between the English and Irish, neglecting to explicitly mention the war, or that the Englishman are captives, until later in the story.
This helps to introduce situational irony: This situational irony causes the reader to question the motives of whoever captured the two Englishmen, and this same questioning is mirrored by the first-person narrative: In this way, the reader becomes skeptical of the orders to detain the two, as well as the order to kill them later in the story.
Similarly, verbal irony is used to develop the idea that men will justify inhumane acts in the name of duty: We went round to the back of the house and down towards the bog. It was only then that Jeremiah Donovan told them. He was shaking with excitement. I never noticed that people who talk about duty find it much of a trouble to them.
Fire, and its metaphoric relation to vitality and emotion, is used in great effect to convey the feelings of the characters and the atmosphere they interact in. When in the presence of an open flame, the characters tend to be more emotional. After the execution of Hawkins and Belcher, the old woman lights a lamp before loudly lamenting their loss, as Noble does the same in front of a nearby fireplace.
Accordingly, when a flame is extinguished or otherwise diminished, the characters tend to become more sullen, losing their vitality, and in this absence of warmth brings about detachment from humanity.
When Noble is accosted by the old woman about Hawkins and Belcher, he is so startled he extinguishes his match, dropping into a near-catatonic state as he does so. This shows his inability to feel emotion properly from this moment on, not even to mourn for the deaths of his English wards.
Bonaparte is by no means a static character: Neither Bonaparte nor Hawkins and Belcher deserved to be put in the situation:May 01, · Storyboard for short film Guests of a Nation directed by Daniel Speers.
Swift Speers Productions. Edward Spenser in A View of the State of Ireland () presented an analysis of Ireland and Irishness, but this was a patronising, patrician, and, of course, Guests Of The Nation by Frank O’Connor;.
FRANK O'CONNOR • 1 9 0 3 - 1 9 6 6 Guests of the Nation i At dusk the big Englishman Belcher would shift his long legs out of the ashes and ask, 'Well, chums, what about it?' and Noble or me.
Frank O'Connor (born Michael Francis O'Donovan; 17 September He began to move in literary circles and was befriended by George William Russell (Æ), through whom he came to know most of the well-known Irish writers of the day Guests of the Nation (), published in various forms during O'Connor's lifetime and included in Frank.
Related Articles. JUPITER PLUVIUS IN 'GUESTS OF THE NATION' Crider, J.R. // Studies in Short Fiction;Fall86, Vol. 23 Issue 4, p Discusses the allusion to the Roman god Jupiter Pluvius in the short story 'Guests of the Nation,' by Frank O'Connor.
Frank O’Connor, the author of “Guests of the Nation” was born in Cork, Ireland, in as Michael O’Donovan. He was interned during the Civil War.
O’Connor first published in ; his short-story “Guests of the Nation” was published in in a collection of short-stories of the same regardbouddhiste.com: Critical Analysis of “Guests of a Nation” In “Guests of a Nation,” Frank O’Connor weaves an experience for the reader, showing the bond between men on different sides of a conflict, and allowing others to bear witness as friends destroy friends in the name of duty.