Rum and Coke by Julia O’Faolain
The short story “Rum and Coke” (1996) written by Julia O’Faolain takes place in Ireland in the higher catholic environment. Our narrator is the son of a catholic Irish senator, who is trying to preserve Ireland as a state in the teaching of the Irish Catholic Church. As the story continues, our narrator discovers that his father is having an affair with a younger woman, Artemis Sheehy, and she is pregnant with his father’s child. The two of them had been arguing and his father had a stroke in Artemis´ room. They move his father to his own hotel room, to avoid questions about why the senator was in Ms. Sheehy’s room, and they call a doctor. The father dies a couple of nights later, while our narrator and Artemis Sheehy are comforting each other in a hotel room nearby. Our narrator and Artemis Sheehy gets close and they marry to cover over his father’s mistakes and to raise the child in proper manner within the Catholic believe. Catholics believe that it is a sin to have an abortion, as it is to have an affair when you have engage in a marriage. The senator has committed both of these sins, and as a senior person, this could ruin his career and his family’s reputation. Our narrator knows this during the episode, and that is probably why he takes responsibility for the child. Through the story, our narrator is unsure if he would become like his father, and make the same mistakes. He wonders if Artemis is attracted to the hope of him becoming as his father was, and that being the reason why she engage in a marriage with him. The senator is a charming, intelligent and political man, who loves his wife and who teaches his son how to succeed in a higher environment. Our narrator idolizes him, and he is in shock when he discovers his father’s secrets. Artemis is described as a beautiful, but shy young woman. She is working at the same hotel as the senator has his stroke and where our narrator works as a barman. At first, our...
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