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The Significance Of The Minor Characters In The Play 'translations' On The Whole. Sarah, Jimmy, Lancey, Doalty And Bridget

1442 words - 6 pages

The central theme in 'Translations' is language, with associations between people who do not speak the same language or same objectives. It is a play about alienation, relationships and a small community and its limitations, it is about love and the political problems between the English and the Irish. The play has around ten characters. Many of which are minor characters but they all play different parts and have very different personalities. Each character contributes to the play and each of them has a different impact on rhe play, they all represent parts of what the play is about. The minor characters in the play includes of Sarah, Jimmy, Doalty, Bridget, and Lancey.Sarah is described by ...view middle of the document...

..fled in embarrassment to her seat and has her head buried in a book', this could possibly be because he is the only one who takes any interest in her. Sarah is aware of Manus's feelings for Maire.Humour is important in every play, this is particularly noticeable in the characterisation of Jimmy Jack and Doalty. Jimmy who is one of the oldest pupils in the hedge school, Jimmy Jack knows only one English word 'bosom', one that excites his prurient mentality. He is a bachelor in his sixties and is known as 'the infant prodigy'- Jimmy is dirty and never washes. He is totally absorbed in the stories of the Greek myths, he is very self absorbed is funny at times and is very old fashioned. Jimmy has found his identity in the classical languages and mythology. He is fluent in Latin and Greek - to him it is perfectly normal to speak these languages. He hides away from what's going on in Ireland by concentrating on his books. Jimmy lives his life mainly through these languages and thinks only in the past. By living in his fantasy world he can exercise power over someone else, namely Athena and Ulysses. Jimmy is always in his own world and not bothered with anything that is going on around him and is genuinely innocent in many ways. The fact that Jimmy is still coming to the hedge school shows that he hasn't moved on just like everything else in the hedge school. Jimmy is lonely and comes to the evening classes at the hedge school partly for the company and partly for the intellectual stimulation.- 'but what I am really looking for, Hugh- what I really want-companionship, Hugh - at my time of life, companionship, company, someone to talk to.'On the other hand Doalty's character is a young farmer who attends the hedge school and has no great desire to improve himself. His character is rebellious and funny, he loves to mock everyone, and is full of life - 'too lazy be Jasus to wash himself..' he is simple minded and loves to mock the English, 'immediately starts speaking in gibberish - an imitation of two very agitated and confused sappers in rapid conversation.'. Doalty has no respect for the English what so ever and symbolises the rebellions that are against the English invading Ireland. This shows when he takes apart the soldiers equipment, -'Doalty is brandishing a surveyor's pole'.Another character similar to Doalty is Bridget. Along with Doalty and Jimmy, she makes the play more light hearted. She is an example of the ordinary inhabitants of rural Ireland whose lives would be destroyed both by the coming of the potato famine and the government's lack of interest in fixing up a disaster. She is fun like Doalty but is more enthusiastic as a student than he is. Both Doalty and Bridget are always joking around together; Doalty never takes anything seriously and is a bit thick. They have some sort of attraction...

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