Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

The unappeasable hunger for land in John B. Keane's The Field

Rosa María González Casademont



This paper examines the overriding importance of the land to Irish peasant farmers, as illustrated in John B. Keane's play The Field (1965), where the dispute over the ownership of a field between Bull McCabe, the farmer who has the grazing rights, and a stranger who wants to use it for industrial purposes ends with the murder of the latter. While Bull's ethos might appear cruel and unnecessarily violent in mid-twentieth century Ireland, a closer look at his character in the context of the cultural landscape reveals that his unappeasable hunger for land derives not so much from the memory of the past landlord-peasant struggles but from the Irish peasant's ingrained commitment to the land that sustains him and which will prevent his children from the fate of emigration, as well as from his attitude of distrust toward technology.


Keane, John B.; The Field; Literatura irlandesa; Propiedad de la tierra


Copyright (c) 1992 Rosa María González Casademont

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