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Eavan Boland and Paula Meehan : Irish Voices of the Past


Tan, Alison (2014) Eavan Boland and Paula Meehan : Irish Voices of the Past. Senior thesis (Major), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/7928-NF27.


History, myth, exile, identity—for generations those have been the themes of Irish poetry, an Irish poetry written almost exclusively by male poets. As women moved in to claim a voice the themes were often the same, though reworked in essential ways. The key to that reworking, the pivot for an Irish women’s poetry, was the development of a female poetic identity. Eavan Boland led the way. In particular, Boland’s struggles as the first prominent female poet of modern Irish Literature emphasize a search for self-identity. At the forefront of this movement and a precedent for those around her, she establishes themes that pave the way for Irish women writers. With Boland, comes a hopeful recovery of the contemporary female literary experience, with the perspective and approach towards self-identity endlessly evolving over time with each new poet. Inspired by Boland, but a generation younger, Paula Meehan explores similar themes of female constraint, yet raises her own distinctive concerns, in particular the division of male and female roles and generational conflict, exploring what is real and ordinary.

Item Type:Thesis (Senior thesis (Major))
Subject Keywords:English Literature, Irish Literature, Poetry
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Biology and Biological Engineering
Major Option:Bioengineering
Minor Option:English
Awards:Library Friends Senior Thesis Prize Finalist, 2014.
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Gilmartin, Kevin M.
Group:Senior Undergraduate Thesis Prize
Thesis Committee:
  • None, None
Defense Date:1 May 2014
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05232014-004544454
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8385
Deposited By: Alison Tan
Deposited On:23 May 2014 18:25
Last Modified:15 Sep 2022 17:08

Thesis Files

PDF (Senior thesis) - Final Version
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