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The Nothern Ireland Conflict in Brian Moore’s Lies of Silence

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the nothern ireland conflict in brian moore’s

lies of silence

Vorgelegt von:


Leonie Sander

Angela Gerken

Winsen (Luhe), 18.03.2019

Miriam Belte-Wesner

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1.        Introduction        1

2.        The Author: Brian Moore        2

3.        The Book: Lies of Silence        3

4.        Historical background        7

4.1.        The Road to War        7

4.2.        IRA        9

4.3.        Belfast        10

5.        The book and author in the historical context        11

6.        Conclusion        12

7.        List of references        1

8.        Appendix        2

  1. Introduction

“For years, people have been unwilling to walk the streets at night. He turned up towards Millfield, driving through those parts of Belfast which had become the image to the outside world: graffiti-fouled barricaded slums where the city’s Protestant and Catholic poor confronted each other, year in and year out, in a stasis of hatred, fear and mistrust.”[1]

This is the stage setting in Brian Moores crime novel “Lies of Silence”, where he describes the inner conflict of Michael Dillon, who is pressured by the IRA to place a car bomb in front of a Belfast hotel, a typical IRA terrorist action. He now has the choice between killing dozens of people or letting his wife get killed.

The conflict in Northern Ireland (NI) has been going on since the 1960s and was one of the most interesting and therefore most researched conflicts in the world. It took place in the United Kingdom (UK), one of the wealthiest nations in the world in one of the most politically stable parts of the world, western Europe. Furthermore, the war has a major religious background and broke out in a world, where religious devotion seemed to be in deterioration.

In my research paper I first want to shortly write about the author Brian Moore and the book Lies of Silence in general. Moving on, I’d also like to have a look at the historical context: the conflict between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, the IRA as a stakeholder in the conflict, and the situation in Belfast during the conflict. To bring the different parts together, I will analyze his characterizations under the aspect if this leads to an interpretation of a “good” or a “bad” religion and furthermore whether the “bad side” is Protestant or Catholic. This will then be put into the context of the authors religion and evolvement.

Therefore, I chose the central question „How does the book „Lies of Silence" by Brian Moore portrait the conflict in Northern Ireland around 1990 in the context of the religious and political war and the authors evolvement?".

  1. The Author: Brian Moore

The novelist Brian Moore was born in Belfast on August 25, 1921 and died in California on January 10, 1999. He was raised in a Roman Catholic family of “believers and exam-passers”, in which he was an outsider since he could not gain the required marks in his math exam which were necessary to get into Queen’s University. Brian was supposed to go there and study medicine. The author whished that he either was like the rest of his family or in a different cultural setting altogether. What he didn’t realize was that all the things he had to react against (such as religion, politics and other) stimulated his critical and creative faculties which helped him accumulate material and evolve an outlook to be in the first rank of Irish novelists of the 20th century[2].

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