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Guests of the Nation Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Guests of the Nation.
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Guests of the Nation Summary & Study Guide Description

Guests of the Nation 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 Guests of the Nation by Frank O'Connor.

Most of the stories contained within focus on the experiences of the young rebels involved in the movement against England and the consequences of their resistance, but some of the stories also focus on women or children of the era.

Many of the stories are satirical or farcical in nature, reflecting the absurd situations that many people alive at the time faced on a regular basis. Several of the Irish dissidents are either friends with English soldiers or not directly interested in the resistance as a matter of principal. Of the female characters portrayed, several are nuns and many of the characters who have grown too old to fight nonetheless encourage Ireland’s youth to continue to rebel, heedless of the death and destruction they are responsible for.

Few of the characters within families get along very well at all. Husbands and wives constantly argue. Friends routinely suspect each other of defecting to the other side or some other form of treachery, and at least one person in any given story is afflicted with alcoholism, which regularly assumes great importance in the story as it greatly influences the decisions made by the characters involved. In this respect, O’Connor takes a critical look at Irish society rather than a blindly patriotic one, and even goes so far as to mock many societal problems that were highly common in his time, particularly the family strife that many inhabitants of Ireland suffered at the turn of the twentieth century and the ineptitude with which Ireland attempted to regain its independence.

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