Guests of Nation

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Guests of the Nation Summary | Detailed Summary
"Guests of the Nation" was written in 1931 by Frank O'Connor. It is set in the middle of a war between the English and the Irish. In the opening, there are two Englishmen that have been captured and are being held hostage by some Irish. One of the Irishmen is the narrator of the story and telling of a past event. The narrator, Bonaparte, and another soldier, Noble, were in charge of watching the two Englishmen, Belcher and Hawkins. They were keeping them in a house owned by an old lady. The narrator makes it evident that these two Englishmen were taken care of and that the narrator had come to see them as friends. He was even sure that, if they were left alone, they would not try to escape. Everyone seemed to like them, including the old woman. The two Englishmen were handed over to the two so they wouldn't be found. Bonaparte found that they were extremely friendly and didn't need much looking after. He makes it clear that these two were like wherever they went. Even explaining how the old lady of the house instantly found she liked Belcher because of his manners. Belcher was kind and gentle and was the quieter of the two. Hawkins was the talker. Bonaparte goes on to explain that Hawkins and Noble would often have argued about religion and other things. The narrator makes it clear that it was more of friends living together than prisoners and their guards. The second part of the story starts with telling of a particular evening. They were sitting around playing cards and Jeremiah Donovan; the soldier's supervisor came in as he had many times before. This time he sat and watched for a while. An argument began between Noble and Hawkins about religion and love of one's country and capitalism. Donovan starts turns to leave as the argument really gets going and Bonaparte follows him out because he doesn't want to hear the argument anymore. It was now that he and Donovan get into a discussion and Bonaparte finds out...
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