Subject Re: examples of ideology?
Posted by Grace Wen
Posted on Fri Jun 9 00:56:13 2000
From IP  
In Reply to examples of ideology?

Here, I would like to give you another example of the ideology. That is, in Irish Literature, it is easy to recognize that Irish people always regard Ireland as a woman. I think, the allegorical identification of Ireland with a woman, variously personified as the Shan Van Vocht, Cathleen Ni Houlihan, or Mother Eire, is so common as to be rhetorical invisible. But it is neither natural nor archetypal. Historically, the personification of Ireland as a woman has served two distinct ideological purposes: as applied by Irish men, it has helped to confine Irish women in a straitjacket of purity and passivity; and as applied by English cultural imperialists it has imprisoned the whole Irish race in a debilitating stereotype.
Therefore, the representation f the land as female is a function of the patriarchal opposition between male culture and female nature, which defines women as the passive and silent embodiments of matter. Politically, the land is seen as an object to be possessed, or repossessed: to gender it as female, therefore, is to confirm and reproduce the social arrangement which construct women as material possession, not as a speaking subjects.
Actually, I believe although to regard Ireland as the Mother Earth, in some way is not a bad thing but also is not a good thing. It depends on how you interpret it. In my interpretation, it seems not necessary to mark Ireland as a man or a woman. If it has to be done, why Ireland should be a female rather than a male? Is this just a kind of ideology? It is worthy of our attention when we enjoy Irish Literature.

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