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English Language and Literature


S. Nancy Hynes, OSB


In my thesis I take a complete, critical look at Eavan Boland's life from early on as a young Irish girl exiled from her country and living in England, through her struggle to become a poet in an overwhelmingly male-dominated profession, to a close look and analysis of her work and life today. I trace the way in which Boland has struggled to integrate her life as a woman and a poet in Ireland. In the Irish tradition handed down to Boland, if women were not present as voices behind the poems as authors, then what was their role within the poems as images? Why were the images passed down to her through this tradition unacceptable to Boland? How has she worked to change the image of women in Irish literature? Boland has done much to change the face of Irish literature in her work thus far, and she is not done yet; she has created a place for real women to both exist and write in her country's literature.