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Throughout Friel's play 'Translations', the importance of identity is explored and is a major theme of the story. There are two types of identity presented, one being the character's and their realisation of how important it is to them

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Introduction

Look again at Act Two, Scene one from 'Owen: What is happening?' to 'Owen: Oland And again they explode' Using an examination of this extract as a starting point, explore the importance of a sense of identity as presented in the play as a whole. Throughout Friel's play 'Translations', the importance of identity is explored and is a major theme of the story. There are two types of identity presented, one being the character's and their realisation of how important it is to them. Linked in with them, is the identity of names and what a name means. This extract begins with Yolland questioning why the English are in Ireland and senses something 'sinister'. It is ironic that Yolland, the English sapper, can see the dangers that are to come, but Owen, who has grown up in Baile Beag and has family still living there just perceives it as 'making a six - inch map of the country.' ...read more.

Middle

For example if the Holocaust was forgotten, but one man remembered, it would be his duty to tell others about it. If Owen and Yolland change the name, then the story will be lost forever and part of Baile Beag's history and character, however small is lost. Yolland's character is described as 'shy, awkward manner. A soldier by accident.' He does not have a strong identity, however feels strongly and is 'concerned about (his) part' in the English takeover. He later reveals that he wants to remain in this area of Ireland and not only does he fall in love with Maire, but he also sees her as a way into Baile Beag. Maire, however wants the complete opposite; to leave Ireland for America and she is in love with Yolland as well as being in love with the idea that he can help her reach her dream of leaving. ...read more.

Conclusion

I'm Owen - Owen Hugh Mor, from Baile Beag...' The added fact of where Owen is from when introducing himself, and his recollection of who she is through where she is from, highlights that the names of places is a part of identity for the people of Ireland. Taking these names away, is like taking a sense of the character's identity from them, and these names are of obvious importance. Having explored the extract chosen, it is clear that the importance of a sense of identity presented in the play as a whole is great. The Anglicising of Irish names and implementing the English language in the new schools is a large threat to Irish identity. Although another point of view is that the Irish culture is in decay, for example speaking in dead languages, Greek and Latin. So the change for the Irish will give them new identity which will push their small country forward in a forever changing world. However, I believe that the English should let the Irish decide whether or not they want this change in order to choose their own identity. Jessica Mann ...read more.

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