I hope to talk about the effect of the opening credit scene with the biblical reference to Judas in The Informer vs Uptight‘s opening reference to MLK’s assassination. Firstly, what are these openings attempting to do? Are they trying to accomplish the same thing?
Similarly, I think there is much to talk about in regards to the displays of the cultures in both films. How did you see the black culture being portrayed vs. the Irish?
In both films, the informer was a character that was portrayed as drunk, poor, and betraying their partners in order to gain the means necessary to escape from their current situations. Were their characters entirely unlikable though? Did one film seem to give more sympathy to the informer than the other?
Finally, I have a question about the reception of the films. What was the audience’s response to these films? Was one more popular than the other? Did the audience find the adaptations to be appropriate and well-done? What were the biggest criticisms surrounding them?
Belfast, Northern Ireland 2012
My question has to do with the uses of African American music and poems in Irish protests. We saw a clip of the song “We Shall Overcome” being sung by both African American and Irish protesting crowds, and there is also the parallel between the song “Strange Fruit” and Heaney’s poem “Strange Fruit”. My question is, are the two situations analogous? Is it acceptable to use the same songs and same meanings for Irish protests, or is there something that makes the situation different? Is it a show of solidarity, or a misuse of something almost sacred?
How does the line from Punishment “My poor scapegoat, I almost love you” shift the tone of the poem? What is the significance the possessive pronoun here? Does it convey understanding or power?
In Stephen O’Neill’s presentation he talks about the influence The Troubles had on works of literature and art at that time, stating, “Even where writer would’ve maybe not wanted to represent anything about The Troubles at all, the conflict deeply impacts them and is generally always present”. How does this statement draw comparisons between Irish and African American writers and works we have read so far?
How did the presence of the Irish language fluctuate, in schools and in daily/social life fluctuate throughout more recent Irish history (post revival)?
I’m curious about the Bog bodies/ poems and hope we can talk more about them in class. Is there a connection between the idea ritualized killings and premeditated political violence? Was it a fascination with the victim status of the people? Do bodies on display as history and science loose their personhood? Is there any connection with the extremely preserved state of the bodies and the narratives of preservation we were discussing last class?
The last stanza of Punishment is really interesting, especially in how it contains the dichotomy of the civilized and the tribal. I’m trying to read how they are being used. Who is the civilized? Who is the tribal? Even when being used to make a point, does this narrative still promote othering and the idea of the “never ready” as the tribal element?
Heaney’s poems center around the punishment and suffering of women. Why women? Did The Troubles affect men differently than women? How would the poems change if they instead focused on men?
In the song adaptation of Strange Fruit, the singer refers to black bodies hanging from trees. The majority of those hanged were black males. Did anyone else see the black bodies it was referring to as males? How did this affect your reading? If Heaney’s other poems were rewritten and situated within the context of black America, would they focus on men or women?
“The central paradox of the process is that on the one hand, if society is to move forward, then it may be necessary to leave bitter experiences from the past behind. At the same time, many argue that if past hurts are not dealt with then they can provide the seeds for future conflict” (Fitzduff and O’Hagan) Which way do you think is better in order to move forward? What does all of the literature that we have read so far this semester seem to say about it? Is there a way to do both at the same time?