Juno and the Paycock

The Irish Troubles: The Importance of Setting in Juno and the Paycock

Some stories depend more heavily on their environment to advance their plots and themes than others. Such is the case with Juno and the Paycock by Sean O'Casey. The play follows the plight of a working class family in Ireland during the civil war that rocked that country in 1922. This divisive political backdrop to the story reflects how the characters are disconnected from one another and don't react as a cohesive unit working toward a single goal. Economic woes play a primary part in the unraveling of the family unit. Another facet of setting is the ritualistic religious convictions of the characters, especially Johnny, in their attempt to escape their dilemmas. The financial quandary of the family, the disunity of the political canvas on which their story is painted and their superstitious religious beliefs all define the setting of the play and the way that their surroundings successfully stifles the happiness of the characters.

The Boyle family's struggle to communicate with one another is echoed in the dissension taking place among the Irish people outside their door. The citizens of the country have separated into two opposing camps, the Free Staters and the Diehards. When they should be working toward the...

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