The Man Of The House

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Question: Analyse Frank O’Connor’s treatment of character in both ‘Guests Of The Nation’ And ‘The Man Of The House’

Frank O ‘ Connors treatment of characters varies in both ‘The Man Of The House’ and in ‘Guests Of The Nation’. We can see how O’Connor treats different characters differently and we can see how through the use of imagery and language O’Connor’s Characters are treated very differently in both short stories.

Sullivan the little boy of the house develops into the man of the house in Frank O’Connor’s ‘The Man Of The House’. In the opening lines of the story we learn about a horrible illness to Sullivan’s Mother as we learn ‘the coughing sounded terrible’. We see that Sullivan is a loving son as he forces his mother to go to bed and lie down in an attempt to cure her of her cough. The young son seems set to assume the role of Mother in the house in a bid to look after his own sick Mother. The boy quickly becomes The Man Of The House as he assumes the role of caring for his ill mother. This role is not forced upon the young boy Sullivan but he himself takes on the mantel. He does this as it is clear he has deep love for his Mother and it emphasises there loving relationship. The young boys worry and innocence is portrayed when Minnie Ryan suggests he should call the doctor in the morning if there was to be no improvement in his mothers condition. Sullivan becomes frightened that the bad cough may indeed be the deadly virus pneumonia. This worry was emphasised as the boy couldn’t sleep well during the night as his worry for his ill mother became an obsession to find her a cure. After the whiskey didn’t work Sullivan began to think nothing would solve the problem.

The boys visit to the public house seems to be an awakening to a different world for him or perhaps the developing from boy of the house to man. The young boy Sullivan perhaps seemed at first scared by the old men’s drinking habits in the bar, as they sarcastically taunt him he seems...
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