The Hegarty Family as the Epitome of Silence and Sexuality in The Gathering


  • Rejane de Souza Ferreira Federal University of Tocantins



This article aims to discuss how Irish sexuality is pictured in Anne Enright’s novel The Gathering, which is focused on the abuse suffered by eight-yearold Liam Hegarty and the witnessing of this crime by his younger sister Veronica. I argue that, as a witness, she shares the trauma suffered by her brother, as they are both haunted by this experience throughout their lives. As an adult, Liam Hegarty commits suicide, an incident which will lead Veronica to discover who was responsible for her brother’s traumatic past. By means of her (re)visiting the Hegarty’s sexual life and her (re)writing the past, Veronica provides an overview of Ireland’s sexuality during the twentieth century and beginning of the twenty first century.

Keywords: Silence; sexuality; abuse; vulnerability; Ireland.


Author Biography

  • Rejane de Souza Ferreira, Federal University of Tocantins
    Rejane de Souza Ferreira is Professor at Federal University of Tocantins, Brazil, where she teaches Literature in English Language at Letters Graduation Course and M.A. Programme. She is interested in the representation of Irish Family in Irish Contemporary Novels and has published some articles on this subject. She holds a PhD in Language and Literature from Federal University of Goiás, Brazil, and she was a Doctoral Research Visitor at the School of English, Drama and Film, University College Dublin.




How to Cite

Ferreira, R. de S. (2019). The Hegarty Family as the Epitome of Silence and Sexuality in The Gathering. ABEI Journal, 20(2), 97-109.