Juno and the Paycock - Deterioration of a Relationship Essay example

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“Juno and the Paycock” by Sean O’Casey is set amidst the height of the Irish Civil War. Throughout the play, we can see the titular character’s, Juno Boyle and Jack Boyle, relationship deteriorate , and how dramatic events in their lives and the lives of their children, Johnny and Mary, cause the entire family to collapse. The play is set closely following the signing of the treaty dividing Ireland into sections and features the resulting conflict between the diehards who want a united, free Ireland, and the free-staters, who support the treaty, with this conflict representing the clash of fanatical nationalism and practicality, of idealism and a recognition that what the people truly wanted was peace. The play also explores some of the …show more content…
This in itself would have a bad effect on the family, with another family member to feed, clothe and house placing further strain on their finances, but it is Johnny and Boyle’s attitude to this pregnancy that does the most damage.

“She should be dhriven from the house she’s brought so much shame upon”

Instead of trying to support his daughter through this difficult and emotionally strained situation, he instead seeks to drive her from the house and from the family. This anger’s Juno, and leads her to threaten Boyle that if Mary leaves the family then Juno will follow her, as he is attempting to destroy that which she holds to be the most valuable thing, her family, purely in order to protect his own reputation However, the final thing that convinces Juno the family is irreparably torn apart is Johnny’s death at the hands of his former comrades. This cements Juno’s decision to leave, she feel’s justified in leaving with Mary in order to help her raise her child (abortion not being an option at this time in such a heavily catholic country) as she is the only part of her family that is salvageable, with Johnny dead and her convinced that Boyle is beyond salvation.

“Let your father furrage for himself now; I’ve done all I could an’ it was all no use - he’ll be hopeless till the end of his days.”

This is the final collapse of the relationship, and we see the final outcome of it. Boyle is left unchanged, as the closing scene of