Teacher Guide

Cal Lesson Plan

Introduction to Cal

Cal is a 1983 novel by the Northern Irish writer Bernard MacLaverty. The novel takes place during one of the most difficult periods in Irish history, known as "the Troubles," when Northern Ireland was sharply divided between the mostly Protestant Loyalists, who wanted Ireland to remain a part of the United Kingdom, and the mostly Catholic Republicans, who wanted Northern Ireland to leave the UK and become part of a single, sovereign Unified Ireland. The Republicans included the IRA (Irish Republican Army), who are known for having used extreme violence - mass bombings, in particular - to wage their side of the fight. Loyalist forces retaliated in turn with violence of their own.

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