• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How Does Friel Introduce And Present The Themes Of Language And Translation In The Opening Sequence Of The Play?

Extracts from this document...


How Does Friel Introduce And Present The Themes Of Language And Translation In The Opening Sequence Of The Play? Throughout the opening sequence of Brian Friel's " Translations" the themes of language and translation occur frequently and in many different forms. The theme of language comes up in the very first few pages; we are introduced to many different levels of language from different characters. For example, Jimmy reading Greek stories to himself, Manus, who is fairly literate and knowledgeable and then Sarah who is trying to pronounce her name with the aid of Manus. She has a speech defect and has not been able to speak, she communicates via hand signals and "grunts". Sarah has this as her own language and on page 6 she communicates with Manus using this. She is trying to indicate where the master is. Her language requires trial and error and is not very specific thus taking numerous tries to find out where the master has gone and why he is so late. ...read more.


Many different forms of communicating appear in this play, as there is a different kind of relationship between each character and another. For example Maire seems to control the conversation between her and Manus whereas he seems patronising and slightly controlling towards Sarah. There are many different relationships like these throughout the first sequence. All the way through this first sequence there are different forms of language and translation presented to the audience. They come in many different varieties, some more subtly than others. At the top of page 26 we see Owen enter, we have not heard anything about him however the stage directions tell us a lot. From these directions we know that Owen is the younger son of Hugh, he is smartly dressed-a city man and that he has a charming personality. From the first line he speaks we know he has been away from Baile Beag as he is looking for Hugh and his hedge-school. However he is being sarcastic and is trying to make a big entrance by not knowing where the hedge-school is when he clearly does. ...read more.


Again he plays on their good nature by saying "May I Bring Them in?" To be polite they must say yes. By playing on their good nature he is controlling the conversation and getting his point across slowly without panicking his friends. After this Owen takes up his father's game he uses flattery to keep control of this game and his audience and to introduce his point slowly whilst not being direct in what is happening to Baile Beag. He uses flattery as one way of controlling the conversation, another is to play his fathers game. To me I feel that Owen is the elder son rather than Manus as he has left the village in search of work and money and is offering to go to the pub and get drunk with Hugh. Whereas Manus is left to go get the tea and bread, more like a servant than a son. Hugh definitely has more respect for Owen than Manus and this is clearly shown, as Hugh get very emotional on the arrival of Owen. Owen I feel is manipulative in his character and needs to be the centre of attention all of the time. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Brian Friel section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Brian Friel essays

  1. There are some dramatic devices and techniques that Friel uses to illuminate the play's ...

    Then Yolland goes missing who we think has died. Friel did not resolve these problems for us and we are left to make up our own minds about what happened. Friel uses language and translation as a dramatic device. A dramatic technique that Friel uses is showing the difficulties that the English and Irish have in understanding each other.

  2. The language used in 'Blood Wedding'

    The Moon enters, the Moon is an unseen force, yet Lorca chooses to give the Moon a physical form, power and life. The Moon seems to represent the lovers' fate, through the verse we can see that the Moon wants to find the lovers and has the power to do so with his light.

  1. How are the characters and their relations established in Act one of Brian Friel's ...

    Maire is also a practical character and this is shown through her wanting to speak English. She wants to speak English so that she can go work in America and get out of the fatally-flawed town. This means she wants to swap a dying life for a life of prosperity, a very practical measure.

  2. What do you find of significance in Friel's presentation of the world of the ...

    and it is therefore inevitable that she will never get far in life. A character that tries to escape the hedge-school, is Maire. Maire is a key character that is involved in the only scene that takes place outside the hedge-school.

  1. How does the language and structure used in the play Flowers for Algernon help ...

    Then when confronted by Bert during the Rorschach test, his inability to conceptualize shows, and he says that he can only see an inkblot. Then later on in the play Charlie says that 'I like to draw pictures but I wont make up lies'.

  2. How does Friel explore the concept of identity in Making History, looking at alternative ...

    As he straightens it) Forgive me." (p. 54) As O'Neill drunkenly bumps into a stool and then apologises to it for knocking it over, you feel instantly embarrassed and sympathetic for O'Neill. He is now a shadow of his former self, no longer his bubbly, talkative and distracted character.

  1. How does Friel present the duality at the heart of the character O(TM)Neill in ...

    This paragraph emphasis the state of unrest in Ireland and the connections that Harry suggests that need to be made in England, enforces the idea that Ireland need to be united before any other external enemy tries to make any more of an impact on Ireland in order to resist them.

  2. How does the opening sequence to Translations prepare the audience for what is to ...

    the Baile Beag society in that it acts to compliment Sarah, yet in a very colloquial manner. All of this is done to prepare the audience for a contrast between the people of Baile Beag and the more formal, intrusive British forces present in Ireland so to accentuate the differing nature of the two societies.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work