Minnie Powell in O’Casey’s Shadow of a Gunman

I think O’Casey purposely used Minnie as an ambiguous (in the sense of her purpose) character to make the audience think. On one hand her purpose seemed to be to portray heroes as fools. Minnie took action. While everyone else was in a panic or inactive Minnie risked her life, in order to save others. Her death was for two cowards that only wished, while she risked her life, that she “keep her mouth shut”. With her death came silence (even more so with a new secret to hide) and safety. At the same time Minnie, and I agree with this, was also a fool. Her actions were this bizarrely intense love for the people that assisted her demise. Though Minnie wasn’t glorified as a hero there was this sense that O’Casey was criticizing the inaction of Donal and Seamus. O’Casey’s displeased tone with all the characters made everyone appear the foolish, but Minnie (despite O’Casey’s disapproval of her low class and ignorance) seems to be the lesser of few fools.

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