Translations depicts the cultural take over of Ireland by the British

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Translations depicts the cultural take over of Ireland by the British
Empire, yet it cannot be said to be simply pro-Irish.’ Consider this comment. English Literature Coursework- ‘Translations depicts the cultural take over of Ireland by the British Empire, yet it cannot be said to be simply pro-Irish.’ Consider this comment on the play.

The Cultural take over of Ireland by the British Empire is a central issue in Translations. Friel examines this issue by describing the effects that certain changes have on individual characters; Irish and
English. One may think a play with this issue could not help being biased towards the Irish. However, Friel ‘did not wish to write a play about Irish peasants being suppressed by English
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Hugh refuses to translate the word ‘always’ for
Maire showing that he is very aware of the change that surrounds the
Irish, believing that it is a ‘silly word’ under the inconstant circumstances. Therefore his drunken weakness can be seen as a result of the English colonisation and is pro-Irish.

The character of Manus is rather more complicated than that of Hugh and our perception of him changes as the play develops. During the play Manus refuses to apply for a job at the international school his father applied for because he felt that he ‘couldn’t go up against him’. This enforces Manus’ loyalty towards his father and perhaps is an indication of Irish faithfulness compared to English disloyalty; disloyalty which is seen when Yolland explains that his father got him a job but he ‘missed the boat’ and, not being able to return home and face him, joined the army. Yolland also shows disloyalty to his own country and language when he decides that ‘there is no English equivalent’ for a sound like Bun na hAbhann’ and wishes to live in
Ireland because it is ‘heavenly’. As an audience, we find ourselves praising Yolland and respecting him for his capacity to embrace other cultures. We also respect Manus for his sense of duty and loyalty towards Ireland. Friel plays with our emotions in this way making us hypocritical as

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