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Pineapples and Pomegranates Historical Context

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Although the poem is ostensibly about two different fruits, Muldoon alludes to the political context of his youth in lines 9 and 10, when he writes, "Not munitions, if you understand / where I'm coming from." During the era in which the poem is set, tensions escalated between the pro-British Protestant majority and the large Catholic minority in Northern Ireland, resulting in increased violence from the late 1960s through the 1990s, during a time period known as the Troubles. The conflict was both religious and political, as Catholics tended to favor union with the Republic of Ireland, while Protestant Loyalists wished to remain united with Great Britain.

In 1968 and 1969, civil rights marches to protest the treatment of Catholics were brutally broken up by Protestant Loyalist (pro-British) forces. In 1972, violence increased further after "Bloody Sunday," when British paratroopers killed thirteen people in Derry, Northern Ireland. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the Irish...

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This section contains 297 words
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Buy the Pineapples and Pomegranates Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Pineapples and Pomegranates from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.