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In the novel “The Snapper”, Roddy Doyle explores the everyday life of a
normal family living in Ireland, focusing on a main character who deals with having
conflict with the community, in a mature way and becoming a stronger person
because of it. I found this novel very appealing - the authors use of comedy and
realism made me understand the storylines and also make it more enjoyable. I was
able to relate to the main character, although not in all ways, but I could sense the
same worries and fears she may have for the future. The main feature which stood
out to me was the authors use of narration throughout the novel. Roddy Doyle uses
mainly speech, I feel this is a resourceful way to bring my attention to the feelings
and thoughts of the characters, it also takes me right to the heart and sole of the
characters making me feel more like I am there in that situation and not what, for
example the author thinks of the situation. I believe the authors use of dialogue and
first person narrative creates a relevant importance to the enjoyment and
understanding of the novel. Therefore I will be studying in detail his use of dialogue
and first person narrative, to convey relationships between the characters and the
affect it creates on me the reader.
The authors use of dialogue in “The Snapper” enables me to fully understand
the true meaning of the characters intentions throughout the novel. The dialogue is
able to show the bond Sharon (the main character) has with her father and how they
communicate well with each other. A key example would be when Sharon breaks
the news that she is pregnant to her mother and father:
-“I don’t know”he said
-”I should give ou’, I suppose. An’ throw a wobbler or somethin’. But -
what’s the point?”
“ You should’ve come to us earlier -before, yeh know -an’ said you were
goin’ to get pregnant”.
The three of them laughed.
This piece of dialogue shows that Sharon’s father (Jimmy Sr.) doesn’t react
badly he is more sympathetic and confused. Also Jimmy Sr. takes the unexpected
news lightly, as he jokes of it, this is highly unusual for a father to react, normally a
father would be very angry and raged. This scene develops the idea that the
relationship between Sharon and her father is of understanding and closeness. I find
this scene comic- with the reaction of her father being some what unexpected
especially in his last line, when he makes a joke of it.
What makes this scene and the whole of the novel appealing is the authors
use of dialect which conveys realistically the personality of the characters and their
- “My god now, tha’ looks lovely. I’m starvin’ after all tha’ dancin’. I
could eat the left leg o’ the lamb o’-”
- “Don’t!” said Veronica (Jimmy Sr. wife)
This scene is a typical scene from the novel, the dialect is shown clearly
with the use of colloquialism. The author uses a special technique known as elipsis
in this scene this creates an important effect as it gives you a sense of being able to
hear the charaters speak out loud and bring them to life. The element of comedy is
brought in also, Jimmy Sr. regularly swears - like many people in the novel - but
Veronica cuts in just before he says anything because they are standing infront of
the children. This is comic as Jimmy Sr. always speaks before he thinks and
Veronica knows him that well that she cuts in before he makes another mistake.
Sharon’s relationship with her friends is conveyed through Doyle’s
effective use of first person narrative.
- “Come here, Jackie, said Mary. - Was he passionate?
-No, said Jackie. - But he thought he was. Yeh know? He was just a big
- Lookin’ for somewhere to stick his banana, wha’ ,” said Yvonne.
The dialogue above is a normal scene with Sharon and her friends at their
local pub, discussing Jackie’s latest man. I believe this is effective as the action is
portrayed as it is, which is through the speech of the characters, not by the author or
someone else. The characters are able to reveal their true personality and feelings. I
think this is a superb way of delivering the novel as it is clear, fast and exciting.
This use of narration also conveys the scene as
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British films, The Snapper, Roddy Doyle, The Barrytown Trilogy, Sharon, Snapper, The Young and the Restless characters
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