The Trinity of a New Age: Three struggling Women in Anne Devlin's" Ourselves Alone" (1986) and "After Easter" (1994) - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Polonica Year : 2014

The Trinity of a New Age: Three struggling Women in Anne Devlin's" Ourselves Alone" (1986) and "After Easter" (1994)


Anne Devlin, the daughter of late Paddy Devlin, a democrat in favour of social justice between the Catholics and the Protestants in Ulster, is a Northern Irish Catholic playwright born in 1951. A member of the Labour party in Northern Ireland like her father, she took part in the peaceful marches organized at the end of the 1960s to obtain equal civil rights for Protestants and Catholics. In 1986, she wrote Ourselves Alone, a play in which she gave voice to three Belfast Catholic women, Frieda, Josie and Donna. It presents women’s physical involvement in a conflict between the two religious communities. Ten years later, Devlin had her next play, After Easter, performed at the Lyric Players Theatre, Belfast. This play also stages the story of three Catholic women from Belfast (Greta, Helen and Aoife) who are involved in the conflict on a more psychological level. In her plays, Anne Devlin gives us an insight into the forgotten world of women in Northern Ireland. Nevertheless, asked to give a feminist viewpoint on the conflict, she asserted that when she writes “more is called up”, suggesting that the problem is more complex than the gender issues involved (Foley 74). Indeed, Anne Devlin points out how little freedom women are offered in her male-dominated Province and how little power they have. She also rages against it. She devotes more energy to showing that the Troubles are about women fighting against men rather than to showing the Catholics fight against Protestants, Republicans against Loyalists, Nationalists struggling against Unionists and, above all, the IRA against the British army. Her conflict becomes primarily the fight about genders; it is not the conflict about either ideologies or territory. Strategically reversing the roles of men and women, she intends to give her own version of the history of Northern Ireland, including the impact of religion in the Troubles. Very often, she refers to the Bible, which she knows perfectly well. For her the Sacred Book has been misinterpreted and Catholicism misused, notably by Northern Irish men when it comes to justifying the conflict. It is up to women to deconstruct these historical misinterpretations and to present them in a new way. Consequently, Devlin does not hide the fact that both sets of three women might become the Holy Trinity for the new era. Ultimately, Ourselves Alone and After Easter can lead us to wonder whether God is female.



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hal-03844093 , version 1 (08-11-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03844093 , version 1


Virginie Privas-Bréauté. The Trinity of a New Age: Three struggling Women in Anne Devlin's" Ourselves Alone" (1986) and "After Easter" (1994). Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Litteraria Polonica, 2014. ⟨hal-03844093⟩
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