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

What does Translations have to say about the individual and the community?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What does Translations have to say about the individual and the community? There tends to be quite a large use of extended metaphors within the play referring to the individual and the community frequently. Translations is said by many to be 'an intelligent and enlightening metaphor for the situation in Northern Ireland'. This statement can be backed up and the reader can see many representations throughout the play. The most obvious example is that of the situation between Maire and Yolland on page 62. A significant part of this scene is when Maire says ' that leap across the ditch nearly killed me', as she is really symbolising the change the Irish people must undergo. Therefore, individuals are used to represent different views and cultures, as well as having their own. Characters are used mainly as a metaphor for Irelands position with the English. This is evidence of a particularly good playwright. Friel uses Sarah as a symbol to represent Baile Beag's loss of language as the English arrive to anglicise the Irish counties. ...read more.

Middle

The character then progresses and adopts their own personality and identity. In the case of Sarah, she is described as being 'waiflike' and 'unintelligible'. As the play progresses, Sarah's identity changes as she learns to speak. Later, Friel uses Sarah's identity to represent the more timid people of Ireland as she becomes incoherent. Another example is the character of Maire. Maire is described as a 'strong-minded and strong-bodied woman' at the start of the play, but, by the end, seems to have become distant as if she'd been 'washed away' by her contact with the English, and, more importantly, with Yolland. Therefore, individual identity can alter when situations change. Friel created Jimmy Jack as an eccentric, an infant 'prodigy'. He acts as a symbol of an attachment to the past, and cannot differentiate between fantasy and reality. This takes both a political and social stand towards Baile Beag. Is it so bad that Jimmy Jack has to resort to living in a fantasy world? This relates to the flaws within Baile Beag, which, in turn, make up most of the community. ...read more.

Conclusion

Throughout the play, Friel tries to include as many well known events and characters as possible to add a sense of realism. Therefore, certain famous individuals, and the mention of them, boost the readers' interest and increase the level of validity. The community is presented to us as being close, but with the English trying to anglicise, we realise that this is far from the true realisation. For example Maire and Manus; once engaged, but with the Anglicisation, Maire realises she wants better things from life, and proceeds to find these in Yolland, the Englishman. Language also this splits this pair apart too, as we see Yolland disappear towards the end of the play, with the suspicion that he has been killed by the Donnelly brothers for breaking up the community. Overall, Friel shows the audience that the individual and the community are intertwined and are similar in their symbolism and characteristics. As language is integrated within society, the community is forced to separate. Individuals are described and portrayed as the powerful essence of a community, whilst the community itself symbolises the much-needed unity in order to preserve the culture and the individual identity of Ireland. ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Naming and Power in Friel's Translations

    4 star(s)

    The name Donnelly is a stereotypical Irish name making us believe that they are probably stereotypically Irish in their nature.

  2. Commentary on Act 1 of the book Translations by Brian Friel.

    Like him Ireland has fallen into disrepair. After taking the register he apologies for his lateness as he was at a christening. He hands his stick to Manus as if he were a footman; this shows that he takes Manus for granted.

  1. Compare the presentation of the colonial situation in 'A Passage to India' and 'Translations', ...

    It is quite fitting therefore that Owen is the last Irish member to enter the stage; for he has not only embraced the unavoidable changes, but he has joined forces with the English to enforce them. Unlike his brother Hugh, and the other Irish members, he fails to appreciate that the roots of the Irish culture are masked in language.

  2. Re-read Dancing at Lughnasa from the end of Act 1, page 38 (the stage ...

    Pagan god, so the days and weeks to follow are celebrated in its name "Because in the old days August the first was La Lughnasa, the feast day of the pagan god Lugh".

  1. In what ways could Hugh justifiably be said to be the central character and ...

    This realisation is further demonstrated when he explains to Yolland that 'a civilisation can be imprisoned in a linguistic contour which no longer matches the landscape of...fact.' It is obvious that Hugh is referring to Ireland, and that he is beginning to formulate what could be said to be the

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

    which he treats everyone in the classroom equally, ignoring his superior position, shows how his weak side can also be seen as an asset as he is always trying to avoid hurting and condemming people and tries to help people to his fullest extent and be curtious and civil.

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

    her brother, ' crossed over the gap at Cnoc na Mona - just beyond where ther solders are making the maps - the sweet smell was everywhere' When Bridget refers to the ' sweet smell' she is talking about the smell of rotting potatoes.

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

    This therefore accentuates the gravity of the conflict between the two sides and makes clear to the audience the potential chaos that may erupt as a result of it. This ultimately turns out to be the disappearance of English soldier Yolland, and the consequent British threat to kill the livestock of Baile Beag.

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