Conflicts in Borstal Boy by Brendan Behan Essays

Conflicts in Borstal Boy by Brendan Behan Essays

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Borstal Boy
Throughout history there have been many conflicts, some are internal issues, while some other are not. The book Borstal Boy by Brendan Behan is an example of both, at first most of the problems seem that the issues are worth killing and dying for; however towards the end the issues are more internally based. The issue at the beginning the issue is the liberation from the United Kingdom, this is when he joins the Irish Republic Army (IRA), and travels to Liverpool to blow up a port. At the end he realizes that the issue is internal and realizes that many other people just like him have very similar problems and that he needs to let something’s go.
In Borstal Boy, Brendan Behan proves that through his conversations with other juvenile delinquents and prisoners that are also part of the working class, that they all have more in common with each other, then the upper classes of the same religion and ethnicity, whether the person is Irish Catholic or an English Protestant. He also realized that this hatred for each other was artificial and encouraged by a middle class that was afraid of the working class.

At one part of the book Brendan has now observed firsthand the natural trust and brotherhood of lower-class city boys, regardless of where their home is. Brendan says that “other fellows might give me a rub about Ireland or about the bombing campaign, but I was nearer to them than they would ever let Ken be” (Behan 227), this is because Ken was not lower-class, and did not have the same life experiences as the other inmates. Brendan also reaffirms this when he says “I had the same rearing as most of them, Dublin, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, and London. All our mothers had all done the pawn- pledging on Monday, r...


... middle of paper ...


...s are not equal or equitable. According to Warren Buffet "there’s class warfare all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning, but they shouldn't be”. This is one example class prevailing over another, but his is not the first time. Industrial Workers of the World is a great historic example, in 1930 the Harlan County Coal Strike started, the IWW came to defense of coal miners in Harlan County, KY, many of its members were charged with murder for defending picket lines during a strike, however there were murders on both sides and the foremen/ factory owners did not receive any punishment. After reading this book I can now see why issues like this arise and why some groups may for even though it may appear to be odd or backwards.


Works Cited


Behan, Brendan, and Benidict Kiely. Borstal Boy. Boston: Nonpareil Books, 1959. Print.

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