Aran Islands

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Aran Islands

(ăr`ən), 18 sq mi (47 sq km), Co. Galway, W Republic of Ireland, in Galway Bay. The three islands are Inishmore (the largest), Inisheer, and Inishmaan. The islands are barren; farming and fishing prevail economically, and the knitting of woolen sweaters is an important cottage industry. Gaelic is the everyday language of most islanders. Many early Christian and prehistoric remains are there, and the islands have become a tourist attraction.
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Paradoxically, Simmons's idealization of late-Victorian life casts Nora as more of a performer than does the photograph of her as fictional daughter of the Aran Isles. As Watt points out, her invocation as rustic Cathleen does not negate Maddox's empowered Nora because she is clearly not in character in the photograph.