Cal ( Bernard Maclavetry)

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In Bernard Mac Laverty’s novel Cal, the author sheds light on the conflict in Northern Ireland through a nineteen year old Catholic named Cal. This ideological war has devastating and detrimental effects on all involved especially Cal. Cal is a victim of this war as he is thrown into it and expected to react. As this violent war is surrounding Cal, he is also facing another type of conflict: an internal one. This internal conflict is a result of Cal’s psychological well being and results in self loathing and grueling emotional torment. Cal’s guilt ridden conscience haunts him and causes grave psychological affliction. These two forces causes him to act in ways contrary to his own beliefs and desires, produces tragic and grave consequences, and causes him to be dissociated from reality. Events occur in Cal’s life that impacts him in a harmful way. When Cal was only eight years old Cal his mother died. This single event has had a ripple effect that has changed Cal’s life. After this tragic event Cal’s personality changes and he suffers from Childhood Grief Disorder as well as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Cal displays all the symptoms such as anxiety, depression, general relentlessness, emotional detachment, and most importantly dissociation. He isolates him self from reality including his father. Cal’s relationship with his father is strained and awkward. It is very close to being non existent. Cal lacks parental guidance as well as direction. Cal also suffers from Intrusion in which he has a lot of flashbacks of his mother. This weak minded individual is easily influenced by his friends and surroundings. These events allow Cal to be easily pressured and be part of the flock. Cal’s good friend Crilly has a lot of control of Cal’s life and makes decisions for him. Crilly influences Cal to participate in the Irish Republican Army and commit heinous crimes he really does not want to do. Cal is unable to stand up to Crilly and easily succumbs to his radical...
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