Giving Voice to Violence and Void: An Analysis of Martin Scorsese’s Treatment of Food in The Departed as a Means of Depicting Irish-American Masculine Identity
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Irish-American masculine identity has a nebulous and bloody history. Its development began in the 1840s in Ireland and has its roots in colonialism – a story that, in itself, could fill a book-shelf. Despite this challenge, Martin Scorsese does an admirable job of exploring this dynamic in his film The Departed. Scorsese uses food as a cultural signifier to evoke memories of traditional Irish floodways as well as subtly working with Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) and Colin Sullivan’s (Matt Damon) story arcs to show why they both seek to reject traditional Irish identity, and the patriarchal colonial structure it was generated in, in favor of material excess – or a new patriarchal structure that Costello seeks to perpetuate.