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A Long Long Way Summary English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1119 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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A Long Long Way (Sebastian Barry), is a book about a boy called Willie Dunne. Willie is a not very tall seventeen year old boy. Because he’s not very tall, he may become a policeman. But he prefers the army, he thinks it’s a good alternative because he gets an uniform there too. The father of the boy is a catholic Irishman. He thinks a man must fight for his ‘King, Country and Empire’. He doesn’t like the idea of an independent Ireland. Willie hasn’t got that idea, he just want a uniform. In the beginning of the book he meets Gretta. Willie is in love with her and writes letters during the book with her. He travels with the British army to the front of the first world war, to free Belgium from the Germans. In the beginning of the war he survives with a lot of luck on his side. Many of his friends, who weren’t so lucky, were killed. Some of them in gas attacks others just while fighting. When Willie returns from the front, on leave for Easter, he gets in the middle of the Easter Rising. The people who think Ireland must be an independent country, are trying to get the British to leave the country, and found an Irish state. The Rising was suppressed very hard. Willie get’s deployed to suppress the Rising, in this time he discovers that he needs to beat his own people. When a rebel dies in a Dublin doorway, Willie develops sympathy for him an his ideas. A friend of him in the army, doesn’t follow any orders anymore from the British soldiers. He gets executed because of this. He wrote a letter to his father about the rebel and his ideas about a Irish Republic. His father doesn’t want to speak to him after this letter, because he doesn’t like the idea of a Irish Republic. Gretta also breaks up with him, when she discovers he misbehaved in Belgium. He also sees that the Irishmen are the underdogs in the British army. He doesn’t like this kind of racism. Back in the trench war the realise that when they will return to their home country, they will never be seen as heroes but as traitors. At the end of the book Willie gets shot and dies on 3 October 1918. He was 21 at that time. After his dead, he receives a letter from his father. In this letter, his father tries to tell him he’s sorry for his madness. The letter was returned with Willies uniform and his other stuff.

It was a good book. Though I don’t like to read, this book was nice to read.

The life of Sebastian Barry

Sebastian Barry is an Irish author. He’s born in Dublin on the 5th of July, 1955. His mother was a famous actress, Joan O’Hara. In his youth, he goes to college at Trinity College and attended Catholic University School. He got his academic posts at the University of Iowa and the Vilanova University. He started writing novels and poetry in 1982. After this he started in 1988 with writing plays. One of his first plays ‘Boss Grady’s Boys’ won the BBC / Stewart Parker award (an award for new playwrights). His most famous and successful pieces are ‘The Steward of Christendom’ an ‘The Secret Scripture’ as you can see below. The rest of his life is, in fact, pretty normal. Below a list of all the awards and prizes he won in his entire life until now.

BBC Stewart Parker Award (1988) with Boss Grady’s Boys

Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize (1995) The Steward of Christendom

Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Play (1995) The Steward of Christendom

Ireland/America Literary Prize (1995) The Steward of Christendom

Writers’ Guild Award (Best Fringe Play) (1995) The Steward of Christendom

Lloyds Private Banking Playwright of the Year Award (Author Prize, so there is no story involved)

Peggy Ramsay Award 1997 Our Lady of Sligo

Man Booker Prize for Fiction (2005) A Long Long Way (Only shortlisted)

Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award (2006) A Long Long Way

International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (2007) A Long Long Way (Only shortlisted)

Costa Book of the Year Award (2008) The Secret Scripture

Man Booker Prize for Fiction (2008) The Secret Scripture (Only shortlisted)

Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year (2009) The Secret Scripture

Independent Bookshops Book Award (2009) The Secret Scripture

James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction) (2009) The Secret Scripture

Los Angeles Times Book Prize (for fiction) (2009) The Secret Scripture (Only shortlisted)

Prix Fémina Etranger (2009) The Secret Scripture (Only shortlisted)

Trubidy Show Listeners’ Choice Book of the Year (2009) The Secret Scripture

I couldn’t find much more about his life. So I think the rest of his life was pretty normal.

The movement in which Barry’s work belongs

The movement it belongs in, is for me very hard to say. I haven’t read any other book of him. The book I read, is a fiction story about the first world war out of an Irish perspective. Maybe that’s the way he writes, from an Irish perspective. The rest of his work is written in different ways (Poetry, Fiction and Plays). So I think he writes in lots of different manners. But I think, once again, it’s very hard for me to say something about the movement he writes in.

Barry’s work

His work belongs in different sorts of writing: Poetry, Fiction an Plays. Below, the different movement, the titles and the year they’re written in, are listed (In order they were written in).

The Water Colourist (1983) Poetry

Mackers Garden (1982) Fiction

The Rhetorical Town (1985) Poetry

The Pentagonal Dream (1986) Play

The Engine of Owl-Light (1987) Fiction

Boss Grady’s Boys (1988) Play

Prayers of Sherkin (1990) Play

White Woman Street (1992) Play

The Only True HIstory of Lizzie Finn (1995) Play

The Steward of Christendom (1995) Play .The main character in this book is inspirited on the great-grandfather of James Dunne

The Whereabouts of Eneas McNulty (1998) Fiction

Our Lady of Sligo (1998) Play

Annie Dunne (2002) Fiction

Hinterland (2002) Play

Fred and Jane (2004) Play

Whistling Psyche (2004) Play

A Long Long Way (2005) Fiction ƒŸThe book I’ve read

Dallas Sweetman (2008) Play

The Secret Scripture (2008) Fiction

The Pride of Parnell Street (2008) Play

Tales of Ballycumber (2009) Play

Varieties of Weeping (2009) Play

Andersen’s English (2010) Play

(667 words)


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