Relevance of Shadow of a Gunman
- Text, author, when and where set
- Brief summary: D thought to be a gunman; does not deny it; leads to a raid and
the death of an innocent person
- IRA used terror tactics to achieve their political goals – still relevant to today
- I am going to show how O’Casey’s dramatic techniques continue to make this
play relevant to terrorism today.
Section 1: How the support of the ordinary people is vital to the continuance of
terrorism - explore this through setting:
- the use of song and myth and legend
- the the details of characters’ lives – particularly Mr Gallogher’s letter
Now discuss how all this makes us see how people are drawn in to support those
terrorist who claim to be fighting for them – and how difficult it is not to be seen to
support them – relate to today.
Section 2: How the macho culture creates fertile ground for terrorism – explore this
- Grigson’s language and attitude to his wife
- Grigson’s admiration for Davoren as a gunman – even though not a Republican
- Juxtaposition of the two versions of the raid
Now discuss how this makes us see that macho values lead men to support the
terrorists because they are afraid of being seen as weak - relate to today.
Section 3: How the ordinary people are, ironically the ones who suffer most from
terrorism – explore this through dramatic irony:
- Minnie’s attraction for Donal
- The reality of Donal’s fears
- The irony of Minnie’s death
Now discuss how in the wider context of today it is ordinary people who are suffering
– particularly in Iraq.
- restate the focus: “So we can see that…….”
- Link together the three key points you have shown the play explores about
- Round off with a reference to something topical today.
Some useful quotations: