At Swim-Two-Birds Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 37 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of At Swim-Two-Birds.
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Irish Folklore

The theme of Irish folklore in the novel is used to satirize the ideas and styles of the revival movement in 20th century Irish literature. The revival movement sought to explore and revive tales from Ireland’s mythological history and traditional folk stories. The author satirizes this movement through numerous characters in the novel, including Finn Mac Cool, Mad King Sweeney, the Pooka and the Good Fairy.

The use of Finn Mac Cool highlights what the author sees as a boring and repetitive strain in this style of writing. The first extended extract from the student’s novel that the reader is presented with is told from the perspective of Finn, a mythological giant from Irish folklore. The student describes this extract as being a “humorous or quasi-humorous incursion into ancient mythology” (6). The humor comes not from the content of the tales that Finn tells...

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This section contains 2,608 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the At Swim-Two-Birds Study Guide
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