The Other in a Belfast Women Essay

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The Other concept in literature can take on many forms and in most cases it is considered to be someone who is perceived by a group as not belonging or different from the norm. A group and even communities at times perceive themselves as the “standard” and judges those who do not meet the requirements of the norm because they are lacking certain characteristics, qualities, or beliefs. The other is many times seen as a lesser or inferior being and is treated as so. For example, the other may be someone who is of a different gender, culture, race or even religion. So from what I have begun to discuss, this essay will attempt to uncover the religious issues present within the role of Catholics in the short story A Belfast Women particularly within the character “Mrs. Harrison” role, a Catholic living on a protestant street. Many times the other can be seen in religion, moreover the other can be seen in Christianity itself. What draws this thought is the simple fact that many of us believe that though all Catholics are Christians, not all Christians are Catholics. This fine line has caused many arguments throughout Christianity. I as a Catholic have walked into a few Christian church events and when the discovery is made of my religion I become the other almost instantaneously. Remarks like “Ask him if he believes in the virgin” or “You think he was baptized as a baby?” can be heard out of the mouths of the church goers. Mary Beckett, the author of the short story, is a Roman Catholic whose non-partisan portrait of Ireland shows it to be a country with no victorious sides, this can clearly be seen in “A Belfast Women”. Before “A Belfast Women” Beckett began writing short stories first for BBC radio when she was 23. Soon after she began writing for literary magazines in Dublin, Cork and Belfast. In 1980 Poolbeg Press in Ireland brought out a collection of her short
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