Summary Of Dancing At Lughnasa

Decent Essays
” Dancing at Lughnasa” is a play written by Brian Friel first published in 1990. In the play, Friel tells the story of Ireland as a whole through the story of a family living in Ballybeg, Donegal. The family consists of five sisters and their brother, as well as Michael. Michael is the son of one of the sisters, Christina, but more importantly the narrator of the story. The play is set in the summer of 1936. The first change mentioned in the book is the return of Father Jack. Father Jack is the oldest member of the Mundy family, a missionary priest, who has spent the last 25 years in Uganda. During his time in Uganda, he has absorbed the African religion and culture. Jack’s return affects greatly the everyday life of the Mundy sisters as…show more content…
Kate being the one to reinforce Catholicism and Jack to introduce new views. He tells the sisters about the different ceremonies he experienced during his time Uganda, about the great goddess of Earth, Obi, but also introduces the idea that having illegitimate children is acceptable. Kate never accepts the change in Jack’s beliefs and keeps trying to get him to say mass until the end. Not soon after Jack’s return, the family gets its first radio. The radio can be seen/viewed as a metaphor of their lives. It has some problems, just like the family has financial problems and small fights between the girls, but it does work from time to time. The girls often dance to the music coming from the radio. Music and dancing can be described as changing notes, melodies and movement.
Following the theme of music and dance, we will notice that the more a character likes dancing, the more open to change they are. For example, Gerry seems to be desperate for change. This might be one of the reasons why he is so adamant to convince Christina that he has changed. However, it turns out that he has not, as he flirts with all the sisters and has a second family and Wales. He switches between jobs before finally deciding to join the International Brigade. Kate does not accept this, as he will be fighting against the Catholics: “It’s a sorry day for Ireland when we send young men off to Spain to fight for godless
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For example, Kate refuses change. As mentioned before, she cannot accept Father Jack’s new beliefs. This disapproval for change might come from the fact that Kate is afraid of losing control:” suddenly you realize that hair cracks are appearing everywhere; that control is slipping away”. That is why she rarely joins the girls in dancing. She is worried about their futures and even though she is described as a cold person, she truly cares about her sisters, which we can see when Agnes and Rose decide to leave, as Kate is described to be “inconsolable”.
The change in Kate’s character is minimal, even when everything around her is changing. As Kate is laid off from her job as a teacher, the authority structures in the house begin to break down. The girls start challenging the internal hierarchy of the house. For example, Rose becomes more confident and starts standing up for herself. She goes to meet Danny Bradley without telling anyone, leaving the sisters very
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