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In The Snapper, by Roddy Doyle, the Rabbitte family faces many interesting events because their eldest daughter is pregnant. Through the different characters in the story, Doyle is able to use humor to demonstrate how the family deals with everyday life

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Lory Leon March 30, 2009 ENGL 273 The Snapper How would you describe family? Often, many people would say that family is related to happiness, it involves the sharing of wonderful memories and the development of long lasting friendships. However, many times, a person will not mention the negative side of what a family is. In The Snapper, by Roddy Doyle, the Rabbitte family faces many interesting events because their eldest daughter is pregnant. Through the different characters in the story, Doyle is able to use humor to demonstrate how the family deals with everyday life situations. Jimmy Sr. the father, Veronica the mother, and Sharon the mother all face a change due to this child. The "snapper" an Irish term for child, serves as the medium for change and a sense of progression in the characters. Thus, Jimmy Sr., Veronica and Sharon use humor to make family ties stronger, draw away criticism, and to avoid or strengthen intimacy. To begin with, once Veronica and Jimmy Sr. have found out that their daughter is pregnant, they each have a different reaction. For example, Veronica is worried that the neighbors will begin to gossip, whereas Jimmy Sr. ...read more.


On the other hand, Sharon deals with the Mr. Burgess situation differently. When Jimmy Sr. confronts Sharon that people are talking about the statements that Bimbo made about Sharon being a "good ride", she responds by saying she can protect herself and takes the remark as a compliment. Even though Jimmy Sr. laughs about it, he states that he isn't going to have anyone talk negatively about his family (Doyle 81-83). In addition, Sharon confronts Mr. Burgess about what he said and threatens to tell him that she will tell his wife about her pregnancy. In the end, Sharon walks out laughing about the whole situation (Doyle 86-787). Thus, in certain events Sharon's way of dealing with criticism is by laughing it off whereas Jimmy Sr. and Veronica resort to violence in order to evade criticism from others. Just how the Rabbitte family used violence and humor to avoid criticism, another issue that was seen throughout the story is Jimmy Sr. and Veronica's intimacy. For example, Jimmy Sr. avoids intimacy when his wife makes the family dinner. He feels like he should give her a kiss for such a great meal but doesn't because he doesn't want his sons to make fun of him for being affectionate in public (Doyle 17). ...read more.


This not only shows how Jimmy is becoming a caring father and husband, but it also shows that the bond between father and daughter is stronger because they are both able to talk about things that they would have never talked about before. In the end, what at one point threatened to separate the family is what actually brings the family even closer. Thus, at the end of the story, when Sharon decides to name her baby Georgina, it shows that the family has to face the fact who the father is. But the father doesn't matter because as Jimmy Sr. states "if it looks like Burgess's arse. I'll love it." (Doyle 163,215) Thus, the reader is able to see the changes that the Rabbitte family has gone through. Although there were some instances when the family appeared to separate from each other, there were other instances where the family cared about each other. Doyle demonstrates the way of life for the Rabbitte family with the use of slang and improper words. He is able to capture the humor from the actions of the different characters. Jimmy Sr., Sharon and Veronica are examples of characters that dealt with criticism, intimacy and keeping the family together. Despite the fact that the Rabbitte family may be fictional, they still represent what any regular family may experience. ...read more.

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