Roddy Doyle has written an unusual novel called ‘Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha‘ it is a book told through the eyes of a 10 year old Irish boy. I will be writing a critical essay about the following aspects of this book. Characters, Style/Techniques and Plot.
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Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha I set in 1968. Paddy lived in a Suburban area of Ireland called “Barrytown”. Paddy lives with his mum, dad, younger brother Sinbad (real name Francis) and two younger sisters who he hardly mentions. His parents’ marriage is dying. Bewilderingly, dad no longer loves mum and he hits her, hits her again. Paddy feels he has a responsibility to protect his mum, and helplessness because he can’t make Sinbad understand that when their parents are silent they are fighting. Paddy has grown up hating his younger brother Sinbad but while you make your way through the book you see Paddy growing up and learning with ever problem at home to respect Sinbad. For example Paddy learns to help Sinbad when all Paddy’s friends pick on and bully’s Him They push him into bushes and pretend to run away making Sinbad feel alone but Paddy shows that he feels responsible for his brother by going back and helping him. he wiped Sinbad’s nose on his sleeve and takes him home where he feels safe. He has a group of friends that he will not do anything without. His best friend is Kevin who has a cruel streak which paddy admires. He is also good friends with twins Liam and Adian. Liam and Adian mother is dead and there father is a known drunk in Barrytown he also has a girlfriend with was unheard of in the days of Paddy Clarke. With this relationship the family have become outcasts in there own town. Together the boys fight, insult, harass, explore, attack, race, build, mock, destroy, laugh, scream, burst into tears together they also go to school together. His school teacher Mr Hennessey is an old fashioned, strict, disciplinarian. He expects the best of all his pupils and often works them to hard.
The book has been written in a very simple way which makes it a very good book for small children to read but not the best thing for teenager and above to read as it feels like you are being pushed to sit and read the dullness. The book has got a special way of making you feel the heartache for this ten year old boy who has to deal with the family breaking up around him and he feels alone because he can’t do anything for anyone else and that makes him feel alone and lost. The writer has made you feel like you yourself are trapped in this breakdown.
Although in many ways “Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha” is a funny book it is a very heart rendering book with Paddy’s account of the family breakdown. Paddy’s gradual realization that his parents are going to split is shared with the reader’s honesty and vividly right up to the last few pages of the book. The book begins with Paddy begin like any other ten year old boy who is happy and content with life at home. The book highlights the boys bewilderment and confusion at the end where he has a broken family and sees some of his friends mainly Kevin as what they are. Bullies. Paddy began to compare his mother to all the other mothers in Barrytown in an attempt to discover why his father doesn’t love his mother anymore. He can’t see what is wrong with her; she seems perfect compared to all the other boys’ mothers. He then sees that his family situation is becoming more and more like Liam and Aidan’s – this is emphasized In the way he talks about Liam and Aidan and how they eat crisp sandwiches for lunch.
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