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

Show how Roddy Doyle in "Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha" explores the darker side of childhood.

Extracts from this document...


Critical Essay-Paddy Clarke Show how Roddy Doyle in "Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha" explores the darker side of childhood. Roddy Doyle successfully explores the darker side of childhood using effective technique in "Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha." In the novel, the events in the life of a ten year old boy are told through first person narrative, giving us a humorous account of life. The novel begins in a content upper working class family in Ireland in the nineteen sixties. Paddy Clarke is a ten year old boy growing up in a world of building sites, fights and other children. The story shows his growing awareness of arguing parents and a violent father. The relationship between Paddy and his brother grows from one of Paddy being powerful and controlling but sometimes caring to a relationship in which they are distant and Paddy's power is now gone, and his brother older and unable to be manipulated. From the seemingly content family portrayed in the beginning, the ending of the book leaves Paddy with no friends after a fight, and an absent father. From the beginning, the structure of the novel is consistent. ...read more.


Most issues such as these which are brought up are conveyed through humour. The vocabulary used in the novel is not Standard English and the use of such talk creates realistic scenes. Liam and Aidan, two of Paddy's school friends who are brothers live in a poor house compared to other children in the town. Although Paddy sees their one parented house, convenience junk food and un-matching for furniture as something of a novelty, Liam and Aidan have to live in an environment which is to the disadvantage of their health. The O'Connell's mother is dead, and their father does not seem to show much interest in his household, or children although he loves them. His lack of house care is shown in Paddy's remark, "It wasn't dirty, the way a lot of people said it was; it was just that all the chairs and things were bursting and falling apart." Paddy is confused by the idea of not having a mother in the house, especially when Mr O'Connell sat down where Paddy's mum would sit at the kitchen table. ...read more.


She'd started going faster..." The use of the repeated "she" is effective in dramatising the scene. Paddy's sense of fun with his friends is somewhat twisted in that he shows little care towards them. At one point, a group of boys are playing and ignoring Aidan as he struggles to get out of some mud. "Can you drown in mud?" asks one boy, and Aidan's panic and fear are ignored. Instances like this throughout the novel give us an impression of Paddy and his friends having rather a rough life. Their playgrounds are building sites, and this gives an impression of sadness to the novel that the children involved have no proper grounds on which to play. The scene described in the last paragraph is especially effective in showing the change in relationship between Paddy and his father after his father leaves home. A distancing has been shown by Paddy shaking hands with his dad instead of a hug, and the line, "His hand felt cold and big, dry and hard," perfectly illustrates the closeness between the two which no longer exists. "Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha" is an emotional novel which keeps the reader engaged with humour, which is used to show the darker side of childhood. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Child Development 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 GCSE Child Development essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The nature/nurture debate in childhood development.

    4 star(s)

    There are two types of twins, identical and fraternal. A fertilised egg is called a zygote; fraternal twins are dizygotic twins (DZ), identical twins monozygote (MZ) each carry the same genes. If the IQs of DZ twins who share the same environment are similar we could say the environment largely determines that intelligence.

  2. Why family structures are changing.

    helped Jake as he was reassured that Kane will not be on his own totally, he will have a year to settle in, for the family this will mean that Jake will have more time to help his dad, the social services is there to help people cope with every day life and the problems they face.

  1. Essay on Poetry - childhood

    to him in fear that an argument might arise, or it could be that she was just concerned for her child as his father was drunk and not able to look after his own safety, never mind take into consideration his son's safety.

  2. Dear Mr Lee

    He was probably not so much scared of the teacher and of the punishment, but of being labeled as "wicked". We can see also the teachers strong emotions at the child when it says that "Being cross" had made her forget that actually it was not much point telling the

  1. “Examine how the relationship between Paddy and Sinbad changes and develops through the novel”

    These are: 1. Paddy hates Sinbad 2. Paddy stands up for Sinbad, and protects and helps him. 3. Paddy uses Sinbad, usually in front of his mates, to make himself look big. 4. Paddy LOVES Sinbad. At the start of the novel, Paddy, Liam, Kevin, Aidan and Sinbad are being

  2. Compare the use of fantasy in 'The Poor Relation's Story' and 'Superman and Paula ...

    Without a doubt, Michael is much more involved with his fantasy than the narrator of the 'Superman' story is with hers. This could possibly be the reason why he, unlike the narrator of the 'Superman' story, cannot get over his fantasy and accept the truth - the reality, whereas the

  1. "For both Rousseau and Wollstonecraft, childhood represented a crucial phase of self-development. Discuss this ...

    He left behind him a cult following, his name and writings became infamous during the French revolution. Mary Wollstonecraft was born in 1759 to John Edward Wollstonecraft, who was a tyrant and a bully, and Elizabeth Dixon. She was the second child of six.

  2. Unit 1, Drama exploration of childhood

    It started off in what I thought was a very cartoon like comic fashion. It was very quickly flicking through important events which in a different style would have been in a lot more detail but the cartoon style still got its point across.

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