The play, “Juno and Paycock”, by Sean O’ Casey is another comparative text I have studied under the theme of poverty. It is set in the inner city of Dublin during the Irish Civil War. It centres on how does the poverty affect the Boyle family members living in a two-room tenancy in a tenement house at the time of when Dublin had some of the worst slums in Europe. The key moment of the play which draws my attention to the chosen theme is the scene where Juno Boyle told her husband, Jack “Captain” Boyle, to take his breakfast when he finally comes back home one morning near the opening of the play. In this scene, “Captain” Boyle supposedly comes back home from a pub late in the morning with his parasitical friend, Joxer Daly, and Juno is supposed to be going to work but stays behind to ensure that Joxer wouldn’t eat their scarce supply of food. She succeeds in getting rid of him and ensuring her husband to eat well “Here, sit down an’ take your breakfast - it may be the last you’ll get, for I don’t know where the next is goin’ to come from.” This portrays how dire is the poverty the family lives in. In such poverty, there is always a risk of families having no food to provide for themselves in a time or another. This is unsurprising because Mrs Boyle is the only member of the play who is employed. Her adult children, Mary and Johnny, are unemployed like their father. Mary is on strike “for a principle” and therefore is unemployed. Johnny lost his right arm during the Irish struggle of Independence and is mentally disabled soon after and therefore is unable to work. This indulges into Juno’s pressure to provide for the family especially at the fact that her husband is too idle to work. He apparently does “more work with a knife an’ fork than ever”. She eventually comes into a crisis which occurs at the beginning where she worries about her shopkeeper not giving her any more food on credit “What’ll we do if he refuses to give us any more on tick?”. The reason...
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