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Amongst Women Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 26 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Amongst Women.
This section contains 394 words
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Amongst Women Summary & Study Guide Description

Amongst Women Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Amongst Women by John McGahern.

The tensions in Amongst Women are written against the backdrop of a small farm in rural Ireland in a time when patriarchy ruled the family unit. Fortunes were only made away from home and life on the farm was harsh. The home was strict, economically run, and religiously observant.

Throughout the book, the central character, Michael Moran is primarily referred to as either Moran or Daddy. This shows his formal place in the world at large and his place as head of his family. Moran was once an officer and guerilla leader in the battle for Ireland's independence in the 1920s.

Moran has a temper and his voice contains sarcasm, anger, and malice. He tries to explain himself as being misunderstood. He can be physically violent. The children fear his beatings and yet, make much of his niceness when he is in a good mood. Three of his five children leave Ireland for England. The other two find their way in Dublin and visit the family home often.

The story starts with an ailing Moran afraid of his daughters, as they make it their mission to keep him alive. They revive a long, ignored, Great Meadow tradition to try to get him to engage in life again. Monaghan Day was the day of a local fair, but in days passed in Moran's house, it was the day McQuaid, an army buddy, would come to have tea, drink whisky, and reminisce about the war. Although McQuaid had long since died, Moran's daughters thought it would lift his spirits and make him like he once was.

The story then goes back in time to the last visit of McQuaid and his mention of rumors circulating that the widower Moran would marry Rose Brady. From there, it follows the courtship and marriage of Rose to Moran, the family life that she settles into, and the fortunes of Moran's children as they go out into the world and away from his influence.

The relationships between Moran and his children are treated individually, but there is a vast difference between his volatile, physical relationship with his sons, Luke and Michael. He has a more subtle, emotional, and mental influence over his daughters Maggie, Sheila, and Mona.

The story ends with the death of Moran, a mere shadow of his former self, and the acknowledgment of the strength and fortitude of the women in his life.

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This section contains 394 words
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