* the Mundy family got their first wireless set (Macaroni) and this provided the family with music, ‘it obsessed us’
* Father Jack returned from Africa where he worked in Uganda for 25 years in a leper colony
* Michael’s father appeared twice during the summer
These events all took place during that summer of 1936 and in the background was the Festival of Lughnasa – a pagan celebration of harvest encouraging drinking and wild dancing in the hills.
Family Life is portrayed in both negative and positive ways. The Mundy family have to deal with a variety of problems all associated with poverty. The furniture is ‘austere’ and their clothing ‘reflect[s] their lean circumstances’. The girls also have to deal with the embarrassment of Father Jack who has ‘gone native’ during his stay in Africa. It is Father Jack’s mad behaviour that causes the parish priest to sack Kate from her teaching post leaving the Mundy family with no steady source of income. Gerry, Michael’s father, visits Chris but selfishly contributes nothing to the family. These aspects of life in the Mundy home all convey an image of gloom, even though the family do try to counter this gloom to some extent.
The main relationships in the play are within the family with the exception being Chris and Gerry. The Mundy family is a very close-knit one in contrast to the same relationship type in Lies of Silence – the love and closeness of the Mundy family is one of the most positive aspects of the text. Poverty does not break their spirits – this is seen in Maggie’s wit; her response to preparing a meal for the family with only three eggs displays... [continues]
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