The Hegarty Family as the Epitome of Silence and Sexuality in The Gathering

Rejane de Souza Ferreira

Resumo


This article aims to discuss how Irish sexuality is pictured in Anne Enright’s novel The Gathering, which is focused on the abuse suffered by eight-year old Liam Hegarty and the witnessing of this crime by his younger sister Veronica. I argue that, as a witness, she shares the trauma suffered by her brother, as they are both haunted by this experience throughout their lives. As an adult, Liam Hegarty commits suicide, an incident which will lead Veronica to discover who was responsible for her brother’s traumatic past. By means of her (re)visiting the Hegarty’s sexual life and her (re)writing the past, Veronica provides an overview of Ireland’s sexuality during the twentieth century and beginning of the twenty first century.

Keywords: Silence; sexuality; abuse; vulnerability; Ireland.


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