Across The Barricades
From the module, conflict, the responder learns about the context and values central to what is euphemistically known as ‘The Troubles’ in Northern Ireland and the complexity of life in Belfast in the 1970’s. Conflict in the context of Across The Barricades by Joan Lingard (Oxford 2003) is revealed as never acceptable as an option in conflict and resolution because conflict often has no bounds and grows to be indiscriminate.
Joan Lingard states that the play is a, “story of survival - the survival of friendship against all the odds,” (page 5) against the, gulfs of prejudice, bitterness and fear. Although the context of ‘The Troubles’, is complex, the reality for both Sadie and Kevin is simple, in that they belong to opposing faith camps. Sadie says in scene 10 that, “people say i’m your own worst enemy, they say you should go out with your own kind.” The result of her relationship results in Sadie being disenfranchised by her own community she then loses her job and becomes estranged from her family. Kevin also suffers a similar prejudice when in scene 11, he declares that, “If this is what friends do to you, who needs enemies”, after he was attacked by his life-long friend Brian Rafferty. The play exposes prejudice and stage directions which are intended so that the responder should not be confused by the powerful dialogue, which is in the vernacular. The responder therefore emphasises with the depth of the bitterness and fear felt by the characters and the guilt between factors.
Lingard deliberately attempts to create , “As balanced as possible”, a text in order to present the morality of the two sides evenly and the issues surrounding the morality of actions as a major feature of the text. Lingard alternates between the Protestant and Catholic communities to present that balanced moral perspective. In scene 4 in which is set at Sadie’s home then onto Kevin’s home in scene 5. This reinforces the moral values...
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