Faith and Minnie Powell

At the end of “Shadow of a Gunman”, Minnie Powell, the love interest and neighbor of Donal Davoren, does something pretty crazy- the Black and Tans raid their tenament, and she takes a bag of bombs out of Donal’s apartment and brings them to her own so that Donal will not be caught and be arrested as a Republican fighter (a guise he’s been trying on to impress the tenament’s residents).  She is then shot in a crossfire while trying to escape the Lorry.  Donal realizes what a coward he his for his passivity and inaction, and truly feels pain over Minnie’s murder.

Usually I’d recognize this hain of events as “fridge-stuffing”, a trope that originated in a Green Lantern comic.  The Green Lantern comes home to find that the villian has killed his girlfriend and stuffed her in the refrigerator, which acts as a plot motivation for the Green Lantern.  Fridge-stuffing has since become a trend in which the female love interest of he min character is killed, often horribly, in order to advance the main characters’s plot or arc.

There’s one thing that prevents me from dismissing Minnie’s role in the play as this- she is already willing to die for her ideals.  When the Black and Tans find her, she doesn’t scream “I DID IT FOR YOU DONAL ILY”, she goes down shouting “Up the Republic” over and over again.  She’s finally arrested with Mrs. Henderson who attempted to fight off the Blck and Tans with her bare fists.  Minnie’s sacrifice is given a tinge of tragedy as well since she did it for a person who she thought represented her ideals but was really nothing but a whiny, idle poet.  While futile, there is no denying her strength and valor.  I feel there’s an idea here about the risk of putting your faith in people.

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