Synge's "Riders to the Sea" deals with the lives and manners of a cross-section of humanity and is, therefore, concerned with local matters but it is Synge's art that lends a universal interest to what is local in all particulars. In other words, Synge, like any other great artist, universalises the particular experience of a particular individual or a group of individuals. Like Hardy's regional novels, Synge's "Riders to the Sea" offers a slice of life which acquires a universal dimension. Synge focuses our attention upon that aspect of life which absorbs the interest of humanity in general. Synge's play has a timeless appeal because its content draws our attention to something which is essentially human. The relevance of "Riders to the sea" lies in its intensity of appeal; in its sense of contemporaneity.
Synge had gone to spend a few days in the Aran lives to study the lives of people over there. Synge, however, was attracted by the way of life of Aran islanders and he decided to frame the experiences of such commoners in words. And then was born "Riders to the Sea".There are two backgrounds moving parallel to each other in this novel. One is the sea, the epicentre around which everything is set. Another is omen and foreboding. The readers can predict by learning the title that something ominous is going to happen which might be connected to the sea. From the very beginning, we see Maurya, the protagonist, talking about her sons who sacrificed their lives to the seas. The whole novel revolves around the insecurities concerning the sea. Maurya, on the other hand, believes in omens. When Bartley, Maurya's only alive son, leaves their house without following the daily course , Maurya gets tensed and her two daughters rush to Bartley to follow what their mother is saying. Therefore, the two backgrounds amalgamate with each other and create a perfect setting for "Riders to the Sea"