Setting

Physical setting

Arhondia’s short story “Tom Corridan” was published in 2018. Several details in the story indicate that the action takes place in the 1970s. For example, Thin Lizzy's version of the song "Whiskey in the Jar" (l. 1) was a major hit in 1973, and Tom wants “a bit of a bell-bottom ” (l. 8) to his trousers, a style which was popular in the 1970s. The events take place in Dublin (l. 12) in the fall: “I’m wearing long trousers for the first time this year so no more freezing legs” (l. 6). The events happen over the course of two days. References to real places in Dublin such as Bewley’s café (l. 50), Trinity College (l. 56), and Crumlin (l. 130) help with the realism of the story. 

The story begins on one evening (l. 18), in the lane behind Tom’s house (l. 2), which is on Cherryfield Road (l. 11). The laneway (or alleyway) is an important part of the setting as Tom hides there to smoke (ll. 1-2), and listens to the music played by his neighbor Trevor (ll. 11-12). The laneway seems to allow Tom a brief break from his difficult life.

In a similar manner, the second laneway has a symbolic meaning: “There’s another laneway just to the left of me. It’ll get me to where I’m going but I’ll also be hidden. (…) I’ll go to the chemist but not before I’ve had a short break.” (ll. 143-144). Here, Tom decides to delay bringing his father Frank the pills, in the hope that his high blood pressure will kill him before he bring...

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