John McGahern’s ‘Oldfashioned’ and Anglo-Irish culture
in John McGahern
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In John McGahern's 'Oldfashioned' he ably demonstrates why a sensitive, bookish, Catholic young man raised in the repressive, anti-intellectual Irish Free State might be attracted to the way of life being led by the country's dwindling Church of Ireland population. Throughout 'Oldfashioned', McGahern suggests that Catholics in the young stateare, in the main, overly fixated on money-making, gossip and a prosaic practicality, and that they are suspicious of anything that smacks of foreign influence. McGahern contends in the story that Catholics cannot cross over to an Anglo-Irish cultural milieu without gravely compromising their ties to their own people. McGahern makes links to Ireland's British past through the story's repeated references to Scotland, a country which, like Ireland, has a dual Gaelic and British heritage.

John McGahern

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