The Beauty Queen of Leenane Metaphors and Similes

The Beauty Queen of Leenane Metaphors and Similes

The furnace

Soon after the play opens, Mag, the elderly mothers, burns in the furnace a letter from Ray, a young man, to his daughter, Maureen. The letter and the furnace are used here as a metaphor and it transmits the idea that Mag destroyed Maureen’s chances of ever meeting a man and being happy without having to care for her elderly mother.

The new dress

Soon after learning about the party held by Ray, Maureen goes out and buys herself a new dress, hoping to impress some men at the party and probably to attract some men as well. The dress is important because until that moment, Maureen did not show any interest in her appearance. Thus, the dress is used here as a metaphor for the desire Maureen had to be accepted and to find someone suitable for her.

The burnt hand

When Maureen talks about her mother, she describes her as being an old woman who can’t take care of herself. Mag has a burnt hand from when she tried to cook for herself and Maureen points out the burnt hand when Pato comes over. The burnt hand is used here as a metaphor to point out just how powerless Mag is and how she can’t take care of herself.

The swing chair

The swing chair appears at the end after Maureen kills her mother, Mag. In the ending scene, Maureen finds the truth about Pato. In the end scene, Maureen takes the spot left vacant by Mag and starts swinging in her place. The swing chair is used here as a metaphor, standing for the switch that happened. In that scene, Maureen took over the place left vacant by Mag.


After spending a night with Pato, Maureen comes out of room, clad only in her undergarments, shocking her mother. It was not in Maureen’s nature to do something like that and the fact she felt at ease is also surprising. This event can be looked at as being a metaphor for Maureen becoming at least a woman.

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