Master of Arts (MA)
Number of Pages
Mary Lavin (1912-1996) was fairly well-known in Ireland during her lifetime; however, there has been relatively little critical attention paid to her, especially in America, throughout her fifty-year career. This study focuses on the domestic dynamics of the family in Lavin's fiction, whose world is influenced by the more harsh realities of early twentieth-century Irish society: the Victorian expectations of traditional gender roles, a rigid social caste system, and, at times, misguided religion. It is the purpose of this study to explore whether Lavin's characters can find happiness and fulfillment by acting according to personal conscience within this closely-prescribed social framework. Lavin's work explores a wide range of human experiences within this framework from both the male and the female perspectives. This study also analyzes several stories for which very little, if any, criticism exists, including "The Cemetery at the Demesne" and "The New Gardener.".
Domestic; Dynamic; Family; Fiction; Ireland; Lavin; Mary; Portrait
British literature; English literature--Irish authors; Irish literature; Social psychology; Behaviorism (Psychology)
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Montagne, Lisa Lorraine, "A family portrait: Domestic dynamics in the fiction of Mary Lavin" (1997). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 3375.