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... ssary that they be known. The purpose and theme of this novel is to show the effects that abuse has on the victim. Therefore, only the victim's thoughts need to be made known. By writing down only the thoughts of the victim, Paula Spencer, Doyle has focused the reader on her feelings, and has entered the reader into the world as seen through the eyes of an abuse victim. Secondly, in the case of this particular novel, the effect of the book would be ruined, as the theme is conveyed by the use of the stream of consciousness. To take that aspect away would be changing the purpose of the novel and its immediacy would be lost.
Roddy Doyle has written a simple story portraying a victim. It conveys a very important message. Through the use of stream of consciousness, the vernacular and detailed imagery, Doyle was able to compose an accurate account of what goes on in the mind of an abuse victim. The pain and confusion that is evident in Paula Spencer's mind is a mere example. So many people today are victims of abuse. They feel the same pain as Paula did.
Roddy Doyle is attempting to expose that abuse and the grave psychological effects it has on people. This is his underlying theme. He has told a simple story to communicate a powerful and important message to his readers. The Woman Who Walked Into Doors is not the only novel in which Roddy Doyle has written a simple story that made an important point. Nor was it the only novel in which he explored the mind of a human being in order to convey to the reader how people in real life situations feel. Another such novel in which Roddy Doyle uses similar writing style to that of The Woman Who Walked Into Doors, is Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.
In this novel, through the use of the vernacular, vivid imagery, and stream of consciousness, Roddy Doyle enables the reader to understand what goes through the mind of an adolescent boy growing up in Dublin, Ireland in 1968. As William Hutchings states, " Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha evokes the innocence and ingenuities of a modern urban preadolescent"(Hutchings 1). Paddy Clarke is a ten- year old boy who is living in Dublin with both his parents, his younger brother and two younger sisters. Paddy is living in a world where times are tough. He is learning that adults are very unpredictable and don't necessarily always express how they really feel. He also learns that there are two sides to boyhood: the need to act tough and cruel, as well as, the need for friendship and parental love and caring (Heron 1).Roddy Doyle depicts this rough world Paddy Clarke lives in through his use of the vernacular language. As Turbide says of Doyle:The author's own view is that his job is simply to describe things and people as they really are.
And in Doyle's world, the lives are tough, the language is rough- and beauty and tenderness survive amid the bleakness. (Turbide 3) In Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha , Doyle lived up to his view that he must describe things as they really are. He used the rough vernacular language of reality in describing Paddy Clarke's world. For example, " It had to be a bad word. That was the rule. If it wasn't bad enough you got the belt of the poker.
' the word was made flesh! Diddies!'(Doyle Paddy 130). This is part of a description of a ceremony that Paddy and his friends had had, during which they gave each other names. This shows how Doyle has the characters speak in the vernacular and use bad words, so that he can show how rough the world to an adolescent boy. Use of the vernacular in the speech of Paddy's parents also emphasizes the toughness of Paddy's experience with his parents. For example:I got between his seat and her seat and pointed out the mountains to them ... ' sit down you bloody eejit'...'If we go to the mountains, I said,- he can go behind one of the trees.'...I'll swing you from one of the trees if you don't sit down..."(Doyle Paddy 92).This is an example of a conversation between Paddy and his father. It is obvious that kind words were not always used in interactions Paddy had with his father.Thirdly, through the use of the vernacular, Doyle is able to specifically depict the childhood world in Dublin, Ireland.
" With verve, Doyle recaptures the world of Irish childhood: songs, fears, rituals, dialect ("gick", "whingering"), even the cool words and emotions that mask a boy's deep feeling"(Cape 1). Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha tells the story of a young boy who must jump from childhood, quickly in to the troubles of adulthood. Throughout the novel, Doyle uses vivid description in order to depict for the reader how Paddy feels both as a young child and as a young adult (Haupt 2). For example: Under the table was a fort. With the six chairs tucked under it there was still plenty of room; it was better that way, more secret. I'd sit there for hours.
This was the good table in the living room, the one that never got used, except at Christmas. I didn't have to bend my head. Th roof of the table was just above me. (Doyle Paddy 103)This is a vivid description of Paddy Clarke, the child. It conveys to the reader the childhood world Paddy lived in that consisted of forts and games, and a carefree life style. Doyle however, did not leave out description of the adult world that Paddy was reluctantly entering into.For instance, he describes Paddy's father leaving the house for good:He didn't slam the door even a bit.
I saw him in the glass, waiting; then he was gone. I knew something: tomorrow or the day after my ma was going to call me over to her and, just the two of us, she was going to say,- You're the man of the house now, Patrick...Paddy Clarke-Paddy Clarke-Has no da. Ha,ha,ha! I didn't listen to them. They were only kids. (Doyle Paddy 281)Doyle shows Paddy stepping over into the adult world. He is no longer Paddy, he is now Patrick and the man of the house.
With the description of Paddy's father leaving Doyle is able to convey the emptiness that Paddy feels inside, as his carefree days draw to a close. Haupt shares this opinion:With remarkable sensitivity, Mr. Doyle dramatizes the effects of this discord on Paddy's demeanor. He shows how trouble at home propels Paddy from the warm, familiar comforts of child hood into a cold, indifferent world where the laughter of the novel's title finally echoes hollowly. (Haupt 2)Roddy Doyle also dramatizes the effects of Paddy's discord through the use of stream of consciousness throughout this novel. Paddy Clarke is the narrator who seemingly blurts out his story in a stream of consciousness (Gallagher 1).
And although this story does not have much of a plot, Doyle still attains his goal of depicting what goes on in the mind of an adolescent boy living in Dublin, Ireland (Hutchings 1).Paddy Clarke's mind wanders throughout the entire novel, as he and his friends go on one adventure after another, on construction sites, in the woods, and even through city sewage pipes. " Doyle agilely itemizes the jumble of data flickering through the boy's brain- especially the numerical odds and ends that fascinate him"(Kemp 2). For example:Running through the pipe was the most frightening brilliant thing I'd ever done. I was the first to do it for a dare, run all the way down, from outside my house down to the seafront, in the pitch black after only a few steps...You ran as fast as you could, faster than you normally could, but the others were always there at the end waiting. (Doyle Paddy 106)This is one of the many jumbled thoughts that goes through Paddy's head. The technique of stream of consciousness used by Roddy Doyle helps him to attain his goal of conveying the feelings of anadolescent boy. Only a male could understand completely the thrill of running through a sewage pipe, without the stream of consciousness.
However, for the female contingent of readers of this novel, it is necessary that this technique be used, so that it is easier to understand what goes on in Paddy's mind and in all adolescent boys'minds. " Doyle puts the reader in the mind and heart of the ten year old boy by using the technique of stream of consciousness"(Allen 2).One other effect that the technique of stream of consciousness has is that it enables the reader to concentrate on the feelings of only one character. It helps them to understand the world from only that characters point of view and allows them to fully understand what that character sees the world as, nothing more and nothing less. "With great sensitivity ...Doyle renders Paddy Clarke's world in terms of what his young protagonist can see, but only dimly and reluctantly understand"(Morace 1-2). Roddy Doyle has chosen successful literary techniques and styles of writing in both of these novels, The Woman Who Walked Into Doors and Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. In both novels, his purpose was to reveal to his readers, the inner selves of seemingly normal people(Kanner 1).
In my personal opinion, he attained his goals. I personally learned a lot about how jumbled up the mind of an abuse victim is. Also, what goes on in the mind of a ten year old boy has become clearer. Although some critics feel that Roddy Doyle's style makes for a boring book I disagree. Gray states that the books are merely " ...anecdotes and strung together incidents..." that don't make for much of a novel(Gray 2). However, the lack of plot is what makes Doyle's novels what they are: simple stories that delve deep into the minds of everyday people..
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