Translations Questions and Answers
by Brian Friel

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How does Friel emphasise cultural identity in Translations?

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Brian Friel's play Translations treats the sensible topic of the Irish cultural identity under the scope of the British occupation of Ireland. Moreover, the play touches on delicate themes such as cultural subjugation, imperialism, the theft of national identity, the violence of colonial occupations and the superimposition of one nation over another.

The manner in which Friel emphasizes the topic of cultural identity is by showing how, in a very subtle way, the domineering nation imposes its own system of values, education, religion, and language either by force, or in a manner often too "civil". The play contends that this may be done this way, not out of respect for the people who have to submit, but simply to draw them into the "game" surreptitiously.

An example of this comes with the issue of language. When the Gaelic is replaced by English in the Irish public schools, some people are outraged, while others see this change as a welcome addition. Why not speak English? After all,...

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