J. M. Synge is one of the most prominent Irish writers of the twentieth century; his writing characterizes a broad, multifaceted range of political, social and religious anxieties shaping Ireland for the duration of its most remarkable period of change, which transformed the place from a relatively peaceful country to a more political and aggressive location. The picture Synge creates shows us that the question of identity relating to Ireland is problematic; however it has produced and provoked some of the greatest literature of the century. As G. J. Watson has asserted:
"However painful the question of identity may be for the Irish in real life, it has functioned, deeply embedded as it is in the Irish political and literary situation, as a superb catalyst to the production of some of the great art of the century, reaching out of Ireland to the world."
Synge's upbringing was a catalyst for him to explore various tensions in Ireland through his writing. He was born into a family which was firmly grounded in the middle class, was landed and had: ."..produced five bishops since their arrival in Ireland in the seventeenth century." Synge was a secluded man who rooted his plays in community life; paradoxically his plays also explore the notion of isolation:
."..torn between the desire to identify and merge with a community and the desire to assert the distinguishing and defining values of the individual self."
His life and work may consequently be seen as definitive of the circumstances and struggle of the Ascendancy writer in Ireland.
Playboy of the Western World deals with the notion of cultural nationalism; this in itself brings out stereotypes and archetypes - the Irish view of themselves. The Irish a...
... middle of paper ...
...ropensity to be the trademark of personal attributes. Synge shows us the worry between the attraction towards society and towards individuality. Synge may have wanted to be a part of society; however he was never fully integrated; and this is an aspect of his writing we see in Playboy of the Western World through the character of Christy. Synge's use of the language clearly demonstrates his love for it. He shows us how it is in Ireland without mocking it.
Synge, J. M. Playboy of the Western World. Irish Writing in The Twentieth Century. A Reader. Ed D. Pierce. Cork County Press. 2000.
Watson, G. J. Irish Identity and the Literary Revival. Harper and Row 1979
Innes, C. L Woman and Nation In Irish Literature and Society. Harvester-Wheatsheaf 1993
McDonald, R. Tragedy and Irish Literature. Palgrave 2002
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The role of females during much of the Twentieth Century is domestic. Two well-known authors during this time period have conflicting views of how women fulfill these roles. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, the women portray two very different perspectives on the roles of women within families and the values they instill within their families. The value the women share about money is one of the most prominent perceptions the authors portray. Both pieces of Modern literature differ in the perception of a woman’s rightful role as well as the importance of family in relation to monetary wealth.... [tags: Scott Fitzgerald, John Steinbeck, role of women]
814 words (2.3 pages)
- Class played a major role in the development of African history in the twentieth century. Specifically, class differentiation contributed to the political movements and social disparities that characterized the continent during the time period. An example of the importance of land in social class is the growth of Mau Mau. After Governor Eliot encouraged the settlement of whites in Kenya in 1902, many of these white settlers set up a system of agriculture through land grants given to them by Eliot.... [tags: Sociology, Social stratification, Social class]
966 words (2.8 pages)
- The basis of good character involves being respectful, honest, hardworking, responsible, caring, and understanding. Parents and teachers alike wish for their students to possess good character; but what does “character” mean in the realm of education; and whose responsibility is it to ensure that students do in fact develop good character. The Character Education Partnership (2003, pg. 1), defines good character as involving “understanding, caring about, and acting upon core ethical values”, and thus takes a holistic approach to the development of character in students by developing the “cognitive, emotional, and behavioral aspects of moral life.” Through character education, students can gr... [tags: Literature Review]
1320 words (3.8 pages)
- From the onset of the twentieth century there has been an ongoing debate on context and text. Literary theorists all over the world propounded many theories that either divorced the two or made their bond stronger. From the 1920s there came a wave of critical theories, the New Critics pleaded for critical monism. The New Criticism took the poem as a work of art, a structure having an independent existence. They completely divorced the work of art from the biographical, sociological context; removed the piece of literature from time and space and made the work an independent, autonomous and self-contained entity.... [tags: Cultural Context of a Literary Text]
3000 words (8.6 pages)
- The country as it was in the early part of the twentieth century was shaped toward regenerating and recovering from World War I, the Great Depression, and a lot of other socially-crippling disruptions that were forever altering the United States in a lot of different ways. Some of the changes were good, and others were not so good. The spirit of loyalty and patriotism were alive and thriving in the air and in everyone's hearts, and the literature of that time greatly reflects the influence that this surge of patriotism brought upon the American peoples.... [tags: 20th century twentieth literature]
1371 words (3.9 pages)
- Since the 18th century, the definition of the concept "literature" has become a problematic and a controversial issue among various literary schools. What is literature. What are the qualities that distinguish a literary text from a non-literary one. Does literature have any particular function in society. These are some crucial questions whose answers were supposed to limit and define the scope of "literature". However, various literary and critical schools have advanced different and contradictory responses to these same questions, which have consequently led to a failure in producing an authoritatively established definition of "literature".... [tags: Definition ]
1779 words (5.1 pages)
- The twentieth century introduced a new group of writers and artists who brought something new to the ever evolving style of realism. They took inspiration from other authors and painters, and this is evident in their works, but they still managed to put their own unique spin on it. William Dean Howells, George Bellows, Robert Henri, and Kurt Vonnegut are four notable realists whose works are still discussed today. William Dean Howells was an American novelist whose writing changed course to realism in his fifties with Tolstoy as his inspiration.... [tags: Novels, Culture, Life]
955 words (2.7 pages)
- The place of literature in education Why read literature. To many of us, such a question seems as strange as asking “why breathe?” as literature has been part of our life, family, school, and community for as long as we can remember. Of course, there are those who argue that what today’s students need is preparation for the “real world,” but in the push for practical preparedness we sometimes overlook the importance of educating students’ imaginations. Literature offers windows to worlds outside students’ experience as well as mirrors onto the world they already know.... [tags: English as a second language]
1866 words (5.3 pages)
- Art education is often underestimated by many who believe that school was created to teach only analytical concepts such as mathematics and literature. However, research has shown that art courses are important, even necessary for students in elementary, middle, and high schools. These art classes may include not only visual arts but performing arts such as dance, theatre and choir. Barbara Streisand said, “Art does not exist only to entertain, but also to challenge one to think, to provoke, even to disturb, in a constant search for the truth,” (Quotations).... [tags: Education Budgets for Art Education]
2029 words (5.8 pages)
- Views on the Importance of Science Different people have different views on the importance of scientific concepts in comparison to other branches of knowledge. In order to determine if it is reasonable to believe that science is a supreme form of knowledge, firstly we must determine what knowledge is. Knowledge can be seen as the act of knowing or understanding gained through experience or study. Thus in order for something to be considered as knowledge it must be true to the person who has that knowledge based on the information available to them at that time There are many different branches of knowledge from science, to ethics, religion and history.... [tags: Papers]
1011 words (2.9 pages)