William Butler Yeats

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What is an analysis of The Land of Heart's Desire by Yeats?

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Yeats' The Land of Heart's Desire demonstrates his abiding fascination with Irish folktales and ancient Celtic mythology. He regards the twilight world of fairies, banshees, and ghosts as providing an insight into the mentality of the common Irish people, the rural folk who make up the vast majority of the population of Ireland. Far from seeing such folk beliefs as nothing more than crude superstition, Yeats regards them as a source of enduring wisdom to be handed down from generation to generation.

In telling the tale of Mary, whose obsession with ancient mythology leads to her spirit being led away by a lost child to the Land of Heart's Desire, it's notable that Yeats presents the Catholic Church and its beliefs as incapable of saving Mary's soul. The mysterious child, through open expressions of disgust, has managed to persuade Father Hart to remove a crucifix from the wall. Once this is done, Mary is vulnerable to her mysterious powers. With the crucifix out of the way, the lost child...

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