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Manus for example refuses to speak essay

Such a conventional approach to Translations, however, is limited, for the emphasis on the drastic change in Irish society overlooks the underlying coexistence of English and Irish cultures in the play. Translations depicts not only a dying Gaelic civilization under English cultural colonization but also a hybridized Ireland and adulterated people in the transitional time. Colonial Ireland is actually inscribed in a dual state, for the Irish names, schools, and language still persist despite the sweeping Anglicization, and the Irish people are also stuck in an irresoluble dilemma their hybridity poses to them.

As typical to colonial situation, their hybridity speaks more to the differences and contradictions than similarities and connections between two cultures and peoples.

Unable to strip off their double cultural holdings or negotiate the two oppositional traditions, the characters cannot come to terms with their adulterated selves.

As a result, they are condemned to an irreconcilable struggle in an eternal borderland. In this sense, colonization has made hybridity inevitable and dead-end at the same time. Faber and Faber, London and Boston, 1988, p. Subject to the map-making project, Ballybeg is surveyed and renamed by English soldiers — its official place names are changed from Irish into English. Ballybeg, the microcosm of Ireland, is thus faced with a radical change.

Tony Corbett echoes his opinion: I am not arguing against the loss of Gaelic civilization, but I am interested in those ambiguous, contrary undercurrents beneath the overwhelming Anglicization of Ireland. Manus for example refuses to speak essay bits and pieces that are omitted in the critical consensus concerning the play can be quite telling of the real, complicated situation in colonial Ireland.

They reveal a paradoxical phenomenon of change and constancy, displacement and concomitance, for the Gaelic traditions still lurk under the English cultural domination, and the characters are actually living with the clashing yet mingling English and Irish cultures.

Therefore, Translations not only depicts a dying Gaelic civilization under English colonization but also portrays a hybridized Ireland and adulterated people in the transitional time.

Like the mixture of different languages, different people also intermingle in Ballybeg. The transgressive love between Maire and Yolland crosses the border of nation, language, and culture. The exogamy between Jimmy and the Greek Goddess Athene, though in imagination only, also breaks the boundary between man and deity. Those heterogeneous couples overturn the conception of purity through their hybrid combinations.

Like the illegitimate baby who cannot claim a genuine, pure lineage to its father, anglicized Ireland is also a bastard descendent from its pristine Celtic origin. If Irish nationalists try to legitimize and purify the adulterated Ireland, Friel uses the illegitimate baby to disrupt such an identity construction, and exposes the hybrid, impure nature of colonized Ireland.

It is true that English colonization aims to supplant Irish language, culture, and tradition with English substitutes, but they only have partial success, for the Irish system is not entirely wiped out but persists in a reduced and marginalized condition.


Although the Ordnance Survey renames the whole of Ballybeg, it only produces a dual name system. English names, as the official place names, are put on the map and used by the English officers, while the Irish names are still used by Irish people in their daily lives. There is reason to believe that such a duality will finally be eliminated through the English educational system, for the Irish people will not be able to know their Irish place names any more when they are educated in English only.

They may gradually fall into disuse, but they will continue their existence not only in memory but also in histories retold from generation to generation.

In this way, they are still capable of shaping Irish identity. Language, Illusion, and Politics, Syracuse Unive. Hedge schools did not disappear from Ireland but retreated to remote places. School records also show that hedge schools were far from extinct even after 1850: The slow exit of the hedge school from Irish society testifies to the tenacious presence of all the native traditions in the face of foreign invasion and replacement.

The implementation of the National School System in Ireland is thus shown to be anything but complete and absolute. Translations exemplifies such a division, for a dual linguistic presence still persists in the play even if English has completely replaced Irish.

Yolland, as a romantic English officer, is enthralled by Irish culture and lifestyle. Unlike the energetic, ambitious empire-builders such as his father and Lancey, who believe that they are creating a brave new world, Yolland is not an ideal colonial servant.

He finds the tranquil Irish life more congenial to his temperament, which makes him want to learn the Irish language and stay in the country. However, as he also realizes, his cultural hybridity does not enable him to decode the other culture, for the inherent differences embedded in two cultures cannot be easily transcended through mingling.

In spite of their similar thoughts and feelings, the ways they approach things and express themselves are so different that most of the time their communication is only a babel of voices.

Sensuous Maire is thus set apart from factual Yolland. By playing up the stereotypical manus for example refuses to speak essay traits of his characters — the Irish tend to indulge in feelings and senses, while the English are concerned more with facts and reason — Friel shows their inner differences.

Their disparity is further exposed at the climactic moment of the play. Their disparate intentions and contradictory choices reveal their unbridgeable gap.

University of Notre Dame Press, 1996, p. As Luke Gibbons warns us, any theorizing on the notion of hybridity in an Irish context must take into account the degree to which that hybridity has been more or less imposed on the colonized by the colonizer 19. This imposition makes it impossible for the Irish characters to come to terms with their hybridity: Colonization thus not only produces hybridity but also turns it into a deadlock — the Irish characters can neither fully accept nor completely obliterate it.

They try to manus for example refuses to speak essay their hybridity through negation, resignation, or reconciliation, but their efforts fail to negotiate their warring identities, which condemns them to constant struggle and agony. Christopher Murray, Faber and. Maire, on the contrary, embraces Englishness as the embodiment of advancement. Exhausted by the heavy farming and housework, Maire cannot see any future in her poor, hard life.

Manus and Maire, in their different ways, fail to comprehend the importance of coordinating Irish tradition and English modernity in colonial Ireland.

Such blindness leads them to deny their mixed cultural holdings in favor of an unadulterated identity. However, no matter whether they leave or stay at Ballybeg, they have to deal with their hybridity, for the colonial confrontation has made any opinionated or wishful isolation impossible. Like open-minded Yolland, knowledgeable Hugh also breaks a cultural stereotype. Although mainly a scholar, Hugh also has his revolutionary moments: With all of his Irish pride and sentiments, Hugh still has his English side.

Knowing that the Anglicization of Ireland is unavoidable, Hugh does not resist it but adapts himself to it quickly. Aspects of Language and Translation. Fascinated with the Irish language, Hugh does not lose his vision but gains valuable insights. He is not only aware that their colorful language is actually an illusory and self-deceptive compensation for their impoverished reality but also clear about the necessity of change: Selected Plays Irish Drama Selections 6.

The Catholic University of Am. Twayne Publisher, Boston, 1990, p.

  • He finds the tranquil Irish life more congenial to his temperament, which makes him want to learn the Irish language and stay in the country;
  • The following analyses demonstrate how you may do that;
  • Fascinated with the Irish language, Hugh does not lose his vision but gains valuable insights;
  • At MIT, diversity is a core value;
  • Fascinated with the Irish language, Hugh does not lose his vision but gains valuable insights.

Likewise, the Latin Hugh keeps using is also a conquering language. No wonder Hugh stammers manus for example refuses to speak essay he recites a passage from the Aeneid about the downfall of an earlier civilization. His search for shelter in resignation proves futile, for his threadbare fatalism cannot really relieve him of his colonial affliction. As a result, manus for example refuses to speak essay play ends with an inconsolable Hugh, still suffering from his confusing, hybridized condition.

He starts out as a mediator between the English and the Irish, but ends up as a potential Irish nationalist. As his efforts to reconcile the two cultures and people through translation are frustrated by the colonial antagonism, and his own borderland ambiguity is forbidden in tense military conflict, the most hybridized person in the play has to give up his hybrid ideal and take one side. But this is a reductive view, for it explains neither his intimate friendship with his English employers nor his unusual enthusiasm for translation.

More importantly, it prevents us from seeing Owen position himself as a middleman between two languages, cultures, and people. As a person living in the most Anglicized Irish city — Dublin — for six years, Owen naturally befriends the English and uses his bilingual privilege to mediate between them and his own people. Although his good-willed yet inopportune mediation does more harm than good due to his ignorance and naivety in politics, his attempts at reconciling the warring sides should be acknowledged.

Faber and Faber, London and New York, 2000, p. In spite of his six-year absence from Ballybeg, Owen is able to resume the old intimacy with Ballybeg people immediately. Feeling at home in Ballybeg, Owen is nevertheless Anglicized to a great extent.

Smartly dressed and speaking English, he is on first name terms with English officers. Irish name Owen, English name Roland. Richard Harp and Robert. The Ordnance Survey in Nineteenth-Ce. In spite of his painstaking efforts, many Irish names still remain untranslatable, which renders their English equivalents random and arbitrary.

Contrary to his attempts to establish connection, Owen perpetuates disconnection. The English do not care whether his translations truthfully reflect Irish originals as long as they are effective as a means of control. Translation is not friendly exchange as he naively believes but enforced displacement, which does not promote mutual understanding but entrenches discord. His initial indifference towards his wrong name Roland changes to a reclamation of his proper name Owen, which cuts out his Englishness and reasserts his Irish identity.

As his understanding of the renaming project increases, his attitude towards it also changes from unthinking acceptance to deliberate resistance: In this way, Owen renounces all his unwitting collaborations in English colonization. Moreover, the play also implies that Owen may join the Donnelly twins in their resistance against the English, and his lying about Manus to Lancey can be regarded as his initial revolt. From his translation to transformation, Owen demonstrates that no reconciliation is available for the colonial hybrid, who is condemned to a life-long struggle between two clashing cultures.

If we take all the translations in the play — the place names, schools, languages, and people — into consideration, we can see that they do not lead to identity but hybridity: By choosing colonial hybridity as the subject matter of his play, Friel eschews both nationalist and imperialist agendas. However, Friel also makes it clear in his play that such a hybrid heritage is a product of English colonization, which not only accounts for all the disparities, conflicts, and sufferings inherent in Irish hybridity but also answers for the irresolvable plight Irish hybrids find themselves in — they can neither escape nor embrace their hybridity, which condemns them to an everlasting struggle.

In this way, Friel successfully translates Irish hybridity into a colonial dilemma. Notes 1 Ulf Dantanus, Brian Friel: Gregory Castle, Blackwell Publishers, 2001, p. Richard Harp and Robert C. University of Notre Dame Press, 1996, p. Christopher Murray, Faber and Faber, 1999, p.