Riders in the Sea
ENG 125 Introduction to Literature
Instructor: Mary Lounsbury
December 17, 2012
The sea is both a source of life and death. As we can see in the poem, the sea offers food, a way to the mainland and other life giving essentials. It is also the reason that Mauyra has lost all the men in her family.
At the beginning of the story we realize that Mauyra’s Daughters Colleen and Nora are trying to hide some clothing that the young priest has given them, thinking they belonged to one of their bothers Michael We learn this through the conversation between the two daughters as the mother (Mauyra) is asleep. The style of the language is that of poor Irishmen during that time. The setting of the story tells of the hard work these people do to survive. You can tell that they live off the land and sea. The scene is set in a cottage kitchen with one girl sitting a spin wheel, having just finished kneading a cake. They use cut turf for fuel. The cash is gained only by the sale of a pig or a horse. The setting makes the characters seem that much more believable. It is difficult for us in modern time to grasp the loss of all of our children to one enemy (especially a natural one.) We can believe this is possible during a harder time of life. The youngest son is bound to take a horse across the sea to the mainland to sell it while the ships are still in the harbor. He is the only living son remaining. You can see that he will not be deterred from his mission because he is young and unafraid of anything. The mother has asked him not to go, she still prays for his safe return as she knows he is young and not thinking of the danger. She knows that he will go no matter what she says. The language used is Gaelic. I found this to be very realistic to the time period and the people of the time. It flows easily off the tongue and lets you believe that you too are of that time.By using Gaelic, we get the feeling of poor Irishmen. It also...
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