Brooklyn

Landscapes and Human Awareness of Identity in 'Brooklyn ' 12th Grade

The deliberate manipulation of textual form enables composers to showcase how an individual and social group’s awareness of identity is manufactured and shaped by their prevailing landscape. Colm Toibin’s bildungsroman novel Brooklyn (2009) exploits characterisation and form to detail the experiences of Irish immigrant, Eilis Lacey, as she interacts and navigates her primary landscapes of Enniscorthy and Brooklyn. Toibin deliberately imbues Eilis’ characterisation at the novel’s outset with passivity and acquiescence to demonstrate the stultifying effect of her conservative Enniscorthy environment. Furthermore, Toibin imbues the novel with parallel settings across Enniscorthy and Brooklyn to highlight how the vast dichotomy in societal identity stems from influences in the predominant landscape. Therefore, authorial choices regarding characterisation and form enable Toibin to showcase the reciprocal relationship between landscape and an awareness of the identities of both individuals and social groups.

Characterisation is a key vehicle through which composers communicate the impacts of the prevailing landscape upon an individual’s awareness of self. Toibin uses characterisation to frame Eilis as deliberately passive observer, a...

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