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Political symbolism in Castle Rackrent (Maria Edgeworth)
2001 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth can be read simply as an entertaining novel but there is also a deeper political meaning to the story. The aim of this essay is to show some of the most strikingly political issues Maria Edgeworth was writing about and how she was able to impose her opinions in an apparently “innocent” text by the use of symbols. The political issues Edgeworth wrestles with in Castle Rackrent were those she saw in the Ireland of her time: the coming of the union between England and Ireland, landlords, Ireland’s colonial status, social change, national identity and the class-system. The political issues are interwoven in the account by Thady Quirk about the Rackrent estate, of its decline and fall under the mismanagement and neglect of four successive squires. These four colourful masters serves for Maria Edgeworth as an excuse to bring up the political issues she was concerned with. She hoped, through her writing to change the system and the attitudes that produced it. Her readers were primarily English and she tried to change their view of Ireland and the Irish population by her writing. The book is a serious statement concerning the perceived problems of Ireland, a pessimistic indication of the prospect of the Union, and a premeditated to attempt to make English readers sympathetic to their new “marriage partner”.

Abstract [en]

Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth can be read simply as an entertaining novel but there is also a deeper political meaning to the story. The aim of this essay is to show some of the most strikingly political issues Maria Edgeworth was writing about and how she was able to impose her opinions in an apparently “innocent” text by the use of symbols. The political issues Edgeworth wrestles with in Castle Rackrent were those she saw in the Ireland of her time: the coming of the union between England and Ireland, landlords, Ireland’s colonial status, social change, national identity and the class-system. The political issues are interwoven in the account by Thady Quirk about the Rackrent estate, of its decline and fall under the mismanagement and neglect of four successive squires. These four colourful masters serves for Maria Edgeworth as an excuse to bring up the political issues she was concerned with. She hoped, through her writing to change the system and the attitudes that produced it. Her readers were primarily English and she tried to change their view of Ireland and the Irish population by her writing. The book is a serious statement concerning the perceived problems of Ireland, a pessimistic indication of the prospect of the Union, and a premeditated to attempt to make English readers sympathetic to their new “marriage partner”.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. , 24 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53856Local ID: ENG D-10OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53856DiVA: diva2:1102416
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
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