Doherty, Patrick (2020) REPRESENTING THE CHILD’S MEMORY: AN ULSTER CHILDHOOD REMEMBERED. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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In this thesis I examine the potential for the self-representation of an Ulster, rural, Catholic childhood in 1950s -70s through the creative practice of writing my own memoir in the first person, present tense and the aging child point of view, in a fractured, non-linear narrative. My memoir uses the child’s language appropriately in accordance with my understanding of child development gained from a lifetime of teaching. My memoir underscores, through personal experience, the revelations of child abuse over the past thirty years as exposed in the Ryan Report in 2009. My narrative strategy of using the first person and child’s point of view demonstrate the impact upon the individual child of a society’s suppression of the silence and violence within the home, school and church.
My memoir is accompanied by an exegesis which critically examines my creative writing output and practice. My memoir contributes to the development of a young child’s cognition and its development through to adulthood. It is a contribution to an evolving body of memoir in response to social and familial conditions in mid-twentieth century Ireland.

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