Nomadic Identities in Marina Carr’s By the Bog of Cats… and Anna Karenina

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This paper examines through Rosi Braidotti’s theory of nomadism two of Marina Carr’s most outstanding female dramatic characters, Hester Swane and Anna Karenina. This critical theoretical approach argues that these nomadic female identities are structurally opposed to fixity. By averting the normative versions of themselves and by engaging in the dynamics of power relations they free themselves from the constraints of phallogocentrism in their different contexts. Hester Swane and Anna Karenina, despite their very different social backgrounds, share the commonality of being nomadic representations. The dramatic works By the Bog of Cats (2004) and the stage adaptation Anna Karenina (2016) display an array of female characters which conform to social norms. This paper argues that unlike these female characters, Anna and Hester are transgressive women; they are ruthless nomadic female fighters and cannot be considered victims of the social constraints that attempt to define them as sub-beings. The paper further concludes that although their deaths at the end of each play are inescapable, their voluntary suicide eludes them to a freer ontological existence.