The power of withholding
Politics, gender and narrative technique in Felicia’s Journey
in William Trevor
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William Trevor's Felicia's Journey is a literary work which reflects how individual lives bear the imprint of the political, economic and cultural narratives and histories of their places of origin. This chapter argues that the novel transcends simplistic paradigms and embraces a much broader picture of humanity and inhumanity. It is undeniable that historical conflicts between Ireland and Britain are a significant presence in Felicia's Journey. William Trevor possesses a mastery of narrative technique which has been recognised by readers and reviewers alike for almost fifty years. Thwarted communications, withheld information recur not just as a motif in Trevor's plots, but also of his narrative technique, as his deft and canny characterisation of Joseph Ambrose Hilditch exemplifies. Where transparency and intimacy typify his representation of the main female characters, Felicia and Miss Calligary, and their pasts, concealment, ambiguity and piecemeal disclosure create opaque perceptions of Hilditch's world.

William Trevor



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