Lies of Silence

by Brian Moore

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What relationships are found in Brian Moore's novel, Lies of Silence?

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The novel Lies of Silence by Brian Moore was published in 1990 and is set during a period known as "The Troubles," a period of intense civil unrest in Northern Ireland marked by conflicts between Protestants (who wanted Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom) and Roman Catholics (who generally wanted independence from the United Kingdom).

One important relationship in the novel is that between the protagonist, Michael Dillon, and his wife Moira. Michael, a Protestant, manages a hotel at which a prominent Protestant clergyman is scheduled to speak. The Irish Republican Army, or IRA, a Roman Catholic group, plans to bomb the hotel and kidnap Michael and his wife as part of their plot. Michael endangers his life and that of his wife to warn the police of the bomb plot because he feels it is his duty to save all the people who might be injured by a bomb. This act has important effects on his relationship with Moira and how she regards him.

The next important relationship is between Michael and a Canadian journalist, Andrea, with whom he has fallen in love and with whom he eventually leaves Northern Ireland with for a new life in London.

The next important set of relationships are those between Michael and Moira and Northern Ireland itself. Just as Michael decided to severe ties with his homeland, Moira rediscovers her love for her country and becomes more politically active. 

Another important relationship is that between Moira, who is upwardly mobile, and her parents, who belong to a lower social class, and the tension between her love for them and her social aspirations. 

Perhaps the most important relationship in the novel is that between ethnic/political/religious factions in Northern Ireland. This relationship affects all aspects of people's lives and their relationships to each other and their country.

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