Fools of Fortune

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Explain the following quote adapted form Beards’ review of Fools of Fortune: All characters, “even minor characters fall victim to forces they neither understand nor control, "fools of fortune" to the end.”

William Trevor’s Fools of Fortune narrates the story of the Quintons, an Anglo-Irish family living in West Cork during the Irish War of Independence. All the members of this family seem to be doomed to an unfortunate future, thus they can be considered fools of their own fortune. The title may allude to the fact that this family could not escape from both this violent war and its consequences. Thus, they were “fools of fortune” because they could not control fate. That is, the War of Independence and its repercussions were forces beyond the family’s control that caused the Quintons’ fate to be ill-fated eternally. On the one hand, “fools of fortune” refers to how the Quintons were affected by their condition as an Anglo-Irish family. First of all, their lives would be severely affected by supporting either the English or the Irish. They had to choose which side to support. If they had remained loyal to their class, by not supporting Michael Collin’s cause, they would have been subject to Republican’s attacks. However, Quinton’s support to the Republicans unleashed a series of tragic events on the family. Eventually, by supporting the Irish cause they were violently attacked by British forces, which brought about devastation and demise to this family by burning their stately home and killing most of its members. Therefore, this Anglo-Irish family was not able to escape from destruction because its’ destiny was shaped by their English descendency, which meant problem in an Irish territory during the 1920s. That is to say, no decision that the Quintons took would have saved them from suffering. They were trapped by history and politics and there was no way they could escape from them. On the other hand, “fools of fortune” may refer to the expression used by...
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