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Deborah Anne Richardson September 04 1999 Writing 206 An Analysis of Of the Cloth William Trevor Of the Cloth New York New York The New Yorker March 09 1999 Of the Cloth is a contemporary work of short fiction set in the remote Irish community of Ennismolach County during the early summer of the year nineteen hundred and ninety seven The greater part of the story takes place in a small stone rectory nestled among the green valleys and pasturelands that lie below the Irish mountain slopes The author describes solitary hillsides peaks and valleys and a remnant of what once was a town He describes empty homes tumbled into weed ridden ruins as their former residents chose to leave pursuing the promise of a more prosperous life in the city The author depicts in detail long winding country roads leading to the three small Protestant churches dotting the countryside Hogans Grocery Bar and Petrol Pump the only store within miles and to the Catholic Church of the Holy Assumption solitary and splendid by the roadside still seeming new although it had been there for sixty years The story was dominated by a single character The Reverend Grattan Fitzmaurice of the Ennismolach rectory He was described as an elderly man faithful dutiful and devoted to his church He was settled in his life-long home out of touch with the times and what was happening in them out of touch with two generations of change with his own country and what it had become He was a charitable man providing employment out of his own meager salary for a disabled man Con Tonan who would later die He was respected by those who new him upright Mrs Bradshaw who came for visits every Tuesday Seamus Tonan Conrads son and neighboring Catholic parishioners Father MacPartlan and Curate Leahy Of the Cloth concerns mostly the pensive reflections of an Irish Protestant reverend during
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