In Brian Friel's play Philadelphia, Here I Come, to what extent America is the"land of Dreams" for Gar?
Brian Friel’s play Philadelphia, Here I Come is set in the small village of Ballybeg in County Donegal, Ireland, the kind of region from which many an Irish immigrant departed for the United States in search of “the American Dream.” Ireland’s history is one of bloodshed and economic destitution, with little opportunity for professional or social advancement. That was especially in the case in Northern Ireland, where fighting between Catholics and Protestants scarred the landscape for many years. From such a vantage point is Friel’s protagonist , Gareth O’Donnell, or Gar, preparing to set off on the next, and only substantial, phase in his young life. The play takes place on Gar’s last evening in Ireland and on the following morning prior to his departure for the United States. That he is enthusiastic about this major step in his life is strongly suggested in the play’s opening scene, when he is heard singing aloud the song from which the title was taken:...
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