Irish neutrality and censorship in the Second World War; A comparison of Sean O’Faolain’s One World essays and Elizabeth Bowen’s wartime reports.

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To gain insight into the way neutrality was experienced in Ireland during the Second World War this paper will compare two works by two especially relevant authors during the war, namely the One World Essays published by Seán Ó Faoláin in the literary magazine The Bell, and Elizabeth Bowen’s reports to the British Ministry of Information. How do depictions of neutrality and censorship in both the One World essays and Bowen’s writings compare to each other, and how do they reflect upon Irish neutrality? Expectations are that the One World essays will be more actively opposed to instances of censorship, while their idea of Ireland is one of a fully independent Irish nation. Bowen’s work will be in more pro-British in its opinion, and depictions of neutrality and censorship will lean to an idea of an Irish nation that is more closely related to its British neighbour. These works, written by two distinctly different authors, could provide an interesting new insight into Irish neutrality from their respective viewpoints. Through comparison with the actual political state of neutrality these insights might shed a new light on how the neutrality was experienced in Ireland itself. Key words: Ireland, Emergency, Neutrality, Censorship, The Second World War, The Bell Magazine, Elizabeth Bowen, Sean Ó Faoláin
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