Guests of the Nation”, a short story by Frank O’Conner takes place in 1921 during Ireland’s fight for
Independence from British rule. Takes place in a small cottage in the countryside if Ireland, the story
tells of two Englishmen who are prisoners and are being watched over by three Irishmen. The story tells
of the relationship that develops between the Englishmen and the Irishmen and the conflict that arises
when the soldiers are called to duty. O’Conner gives the reader a good feel for each character’s
personality, adding depth to the story and contributing to the development of the plot.
The story revolves around two Irish soldiers, enthusiasm Bonaparte and innocent Noble, who
are charged with the task of minding British captives Belcher and Hawkins. The…show more content… They behave as if they were not part of the armed
conflict that surrounds them.
O’Conner describes Belcher as being very quiet and mellow, but Hawkins was loud and rude.
Jeremiah Donovan is another soldier who comes to the farmhouse just to observe the card playing of
the four men. Though he was a shy man and didn’t speak much, it was easy to see he had no great love
for the two Englishmen. (373) Donovan believes that he is bound by duty to execute the prisoners, He
states that he never understood the concept of “duty.” Irishmen and Englishmen soldiers was caught up
in the war of independence who felt obligated to serve their respective countries.
The intensification of the story began when talk about killing Hawkins and Belcher has occurred
because Noble and the others heard about rumors of some of their own soldiers being held captive
and killed. However, when the time comes for the British soldiers to face punishment for their actions,
the Irishman are torn between showing loyalty to their country and mercy towards their friends.