Discursive Construction of Irish Identity in the Troubles Literature
Representing ‘The Irish national self’ in Anglo-Irish literature of the Troubles is one of the key topics, which is inseparable from British national identity since these communities are intermingled in Northern Ireland and compete for space and political dominance. Little attention of critics was paid to the analysis of linguistic means of constructing national identity. This paper examines how national identity is formed in literary discourse within the framework of discourse analysis in the Troubles novels. I suggest that in the novels considered national identity manifests itself through a purposeful choice of discourse strategies (construction, destruction and justification) and language means. Conceptualizing both identities is based on conceptualizing space and religious identity but what makes them distinctive is narrating political history. Irish national identity, as represented in the Troubles novels, is based on the idea of victimization and trauma memorization, while British national identity relies heavily on mythologizing historical victory. Both identities are constructed in binary oppositions to a conflicting community and are mostly negative.