The Great Famine

For my paper I am doing research on the Irish famine in terms of its impact on both class and culture. There is a general false consensus that the effects of The Great Famine in 19th century Ireland resulted in a collective memory about the catastrophe. The reality is that the Irish Famine was unequal in its devastation favoring the downfall of the poor far greater than the wealthy. Despite the “statistical dark age” encompassing pre-famine Ireland, a collection of articles reveal the lasting impact of this cataclysmic event was not shared equally among the citizens of Ireland. The burden of the famine was not just felt in terms of socioeconomic status, as through the country’s gender roles, and thus expectations, women unequally carried the responsibility of mitigating the famine’s effects on their families. My paper will highlight these important factors of The Great Famine, which impacts the reading of the Eavan Boland poem, “That the Science of Cartography is Limited.” In a similar way to how the collective memory of the famine conceals the inequality of its effects, the unsuccessful famine roads that litter the landscape and tell the true story of the suffering do not appear on a map.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Bella!
    I think this will be a really interesting topic to research, especially when it comes to how the famine affected people differently. I think highlighting how it affected women would be a great way to focus your paper, if you choose to take that route! This all sounds like a great start to a great paper.

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