Dancing at Lughnasa

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Write a full commentary on this passage from the opening page to page 7, discussing how effective an opening to the play you feel it is, and what themes and ideas you think are introduced by Friel.

In the opening of this play I feel that the extract relates well to the rest of the play because it gives the audience a good initiative of what the characters represent. For example in the stage directions in the very opening it shows that this play is presented around the main character Michael and his nostalgic memories of the summer of 1936. Michaels monologue prepares us for the world we are about to enter. He explains that this is the summer his Uncle Jack, whom he had never before met, came home from Africa. He tells us that this is also the summer the family got their first wireless radio set. The set is less than reliable, but its effect on the household is dramatic. His mother and aunts have launched a spontaneous dance in the kitchen, something Michael has never seen before. Michael explains that the radio has been named like a family pet. Though he’s only seven, he's somehow aware that the life he has come to know is on the verge of change: “I know I had a sense of unease, some awareness of a widening breach between what seemed to be and what was, of things changing too quickly before my eyes, of becoming what they ought not to be.’ Throughout his monologue he is also describing to the audience what it was like to live in 1936; Friel adds so much information into the first page and a half that the spectators become overwhelmed with new ideas to think over. There is a big significance about the historical setting of 1936 and it is important for several reasons, for example: The family's possession of their first wireless radio provides the novelty of modern technology and popular culture during that time. The historical setting is also relevant to the interference of the Industrial Revolution on rural Ireland. As Michael explains in monologue,...
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