ly greed for land stems from the Irish farmer’s deeply-rooted dedication to the land that feeds him and which ensures a stable homeland for his children. Add to this Bull McCabe’s cynicism toward technology. This greed for land is not due to harbored hatred from landlord-peasant disputes in the past.
The Field portrays the struggle for ownership to a 4-acre land between Bull McCabe, an Irish farmer, and William Dee, an Irish businessman who came from England. Bull dreams of having his only son, Tadhg, inherit the field. This dispute over land ownership caused the murder William, which the local residents hid from the authorities. Bull’s obsession over the field makes the novel a powerful story. In fact, the book effectively depicted how the villagers, even without fully believing in the McCabes’ ethos and callous ways when they attacked William and killed him by accident, understand the feeling and ultimately protect the McCabes’ by their silence. It should also be noted that the villagers’ silence is partly caused by Bull’s threat “…keep your trap shut…There’s men around here would think nothing of puttin’ a bomb up agi’in a public door. ‘Twas done before, the time of the land division” (Keane, 1991, p. 51). Additionally, the villagers are also afraid that the McCabes might boycott people who go against Bull. Even Sgt. Leahy, who does not sympathize with Bull, is aware of this fact. Per Kean (1991), “There is nothing in your heads [he tells Bull and Tadgh], but pigs and cows and pitiful patches of land” (p. 29).
Fr. Liam Mcdermot and Sgt. Leahy are both outsiders in the village, and Bull expresses even to them his convictions “When you’ll be gone, Father, to be a Canon somewhere, and the sergeant gets a wallet of notes and is going to be a Superintendent, Tadgh’s children will be milking cows and keeping donkeys away from our ditches. That’s what we have to think about and if there’s no grass, that’s the end of me