AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 4, Number3. August  2020                                   Pp.120-128

Edna O’Brien The Country Girls (1960): Deconstructing the Irish Women’s Myth

Department of English language, University of Djillali Liabes
Sidi-bel-Abbes, Algeria

Department of English language, University of Djillali Liabes
Sidi-bel-Abbes, Algeria


The rigid cultural and political environment of the 1940s post-independence era in Ireland placed a significant limitation on women by socially constructing and consistently implementing a strictly-defined Irish Catholic female identity. Over time, women could no longer stand this situation, and movements for women’s rights were set up. Political, social as well as cultural transformations in the country were accompanied by a necessarily urgent literary reaction, especially by female writers. Edna O’Brien, one of the most loved, and influential Irish women writers, published her first novel, The Country Girls (1960). She helped open discussion of the role of women and sex in Irish society and of Roman Catholicism’s persecution upon women. The present paper intends to focus on Irish women through The Country Girls. It explores the conflicts and compromises of Irish woman identity as this has been represented in the 20th-century Irish literature; concerning the more generalized categories of society, nation, and religion.

Cite as:

KADDOURI, R., &   LOUAHALA, N. (2020). Edna O’Brien The Country Girls (1960): Deconstructing the Irish Women’s Myth. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 4 (3) 120-128  .


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Rachida KADDOURI is a Doctoral student at University Djialli Liabes of Sidi-bel-abbes,
majoring in Comparative literature; she currently works as an assistant teacher of English at the
Department of Management at Mohamed Ben Ahmed University Oran 2, Algeria.

Nadia LOUAHALA is a senior lecturer in civilization at University Djialli Liabes of Sidi-belAbbes, Algeria. She is interested in three fields of research, notably literature, culture, and
didactics. She would hope that her contribution to literature would encourage further studies.