Good Girl

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Good Girl by Martia Conlon-McKenna

Some people might say that the power of love can conquer all, but when religion and other factors come into play it tends to get more complicated. Falling in love is something that happens to all of us. Love is a certain kind of strength. Whether this strength is powerful enough to keep two people together despite different religious beliefs or political opinions depends on the two lovers. Religion is love. It brings people together and offers them strength to go through life. Paradoxically, the same religion causes hate and war in the world and therefore tears people apart, as it has been said: “We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.”[1] The short story called Good Girl (2001) written by Martia Conlon-McKenna revolves around this issue. In this essay I am generally going to focus on the development of the main character and why her love was not able to conquer the opposition. Is love not supposed to conquer all? The central theme in this short story is the religious conflict in Northern Ireland. In the story we meet Chrissy, who is a Catholic girl. Even though the long-term conflict between Catholics and Protestants in the area seems to be gone, hate is still lying under the surface. After meeting the Protestant boy, Ian, at the school debate, which has been organised as part of the Programme for Mutual Understanding bringing the pupils together across religion, Chrissy falls in love with him. Some of Chrissy’s contemporaries look at her as a betrayer. According to them she needs to learn a lesson and stop being a traitor. The story takes place in Northern Ireland. In the country there has been a violent conflict for many years between Nationalists and Unionists. Nationalists are Roman Catholics while Unionists are mainly Protestants. Because of the fact that the Unionists see themselves as British, they want Northern Ireland to remain as a part of the United Kingdom. The...
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