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Juno and the Paycock Relié – 1946
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
If you like reading plays, you might try this one.
Boyle's a laybout who shirks work to drink and associate with Joxer. Johnny was in the Republican Army and got wounded costing him an arm and a hurt hip. Mrs. Boyle is sensible and tries to keep things together. She spends a fair amount of dialogue complaining about Boyle's slacker ways. Mary also seems sensible but romantically unlucky and a bit naive.
Act I - Towards the end Mr. Benthem shows up and explains that a cousin of Boyle's has died.
Act II - Boyle starts living as if he's already received the money, buying things on credit.
Act III - The will turns out to be confused. The money isn't just for Boyle but is to be split between all the cousins of the deceased. The family isn't going to see much, if anything. Mary gets pregnant by Mr. Bentham, who has left for England where he is no longer in touch. The Republican army kills Johnny. Mary and Mrs. Boyle leave Mr. Boyle broke and drunk and go to live with her sister, hoping to do their best to raise Mary's upcoming child.
What I liked about this - the characters were well drawn, powerful. It was interesting to read about this time and place. It's a tragedy but it has a humorous side to it as well.
On the downside the dialogue is in Irish working class vernacular from 1922 and I sometimes found it tough to follow what was going on. For example:
Mrs. Boyle - "An Irelan's takin' a leaf out o' the world's buk; when we got the makin of our own laws, I thought we'd never stop to look behind us, but instead we never stopped to look before us! If the people ud folley up their religion betther there'd be a better chance for us - what do you think, Mr Bentham?"
With the money comes a change of circumstances, and of attitudes and opinions. The history of Ireland is reversed, becoming the "story" of Ireland, a fictionalized, romantic account. It seems to be the opinion of the author that the interests of the working class are not adequately met by the nationalist strife. The "heroic" deaths of the nation's youth only go to increase the poverty at home. This problem becomes particularly acute at time of civil war. But, now that he is rich, Boyle (the peacock) cares very little about the troubles of the revolution. He and his wife seem to have finally come to an agreement of insensibility. But their son has already been hit by the trauma of the violent exposition to Irish history.
As if her family was not - literally and figuratively - dismembered enough, Mary loses contact with Bentham and adds to the family shame. The money has been lost. In the midst of this troubles Johnny tries to rise against his father. His final death brings into relief the family's former unsensitive reactino to the death of a young neighbour, a Republican diehard. The author advises a realistic repudiation of the myth of war, and of other myths: poetry, religion, love, even friendship. In the end only a mother's compassion prevails.