Rose Dancing at Lughnasa

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‘Re-read Act 2 from page 56 (CHRIS: There she is!) to page 59 (KATE: what has happened to this house? Mother of God, will we ever be able to lift our heads ever again…? (Pause)). Discuss the presentation and role of Rose in this extract and elsewhere in the play.
Although mentally handicapped, Rose Mundy is perhaps the most fearless of all her sisters. Her role in ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ is key in highlighting the morally and religiously restricting traits in her sister Kate as well as outlining the confining constraints of living in very rural Ireland. As the plot unravels, the audience become increasingly aware of Rose’s dispersing innocence when symbolic events such as the dead ‘stained’ rooster occur.
As a result of her disability,
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Small details that appear romantic to Rose such as him calling her “his Rosebud” seem sleazy and worrying to everyone else as they know what Danny Bradley is really like, but unfortunately poor Rose is too simple to realise. It is also very disheartening to watch Rose have to return to her banal, grubby household duties after just seeing her in such a natural, relaxed state. Maggie tells Rose that she needs to go and get some turf and Rose replies “I’ll change first, Maggie.” It is sad that Rose’s happiness cannot last any longer; moreover it is interesting that she changes her clothes because Rose’s outfits are very representative of her routines. She changes from her good skirt and her good shoes to her overalls and her wellingtons which show the drastic return from freedom and femininity to these monotonous dirty tasks which she is summoned to.
There is a significant loss of innocence seen in Rose by her sisters and the audience after she has returned from her date with Danny Bradley. Firstly, after thrusting some berries into her mouth she is left with “stained fingers.” This has sexual overtones as a staining of red suggests a loss of innocence that can never be washed out. Similarly, when Agnes rushes to meet Rose ‘Instead of hugging her, as she wants to, she catches her arm.” Thus emphasising that Agnes realises Rose is no longer a child, she is a woman now and she should not hug her as if she is a little girl. ‘Catches’ suggests that Agnes has to restrain
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