Paddy Clarke Essay Research Paper 2

Paddy Clarke Essay, Research Paper

‘Paddy Clarke, Ha Ha Ha’ has no authorial presence at all. Yet the reader gains

a richer understanding of Paddy’s situation than he, or any ten year old child,

could ever have. How does Roddy Doyle achieve this with regard to Paddy’s

parent’s break up? One of the first and most relevant passages in the book is

when Patrick wakes up and hears the television and from that knows that his

parents are still awake. He stays on the stairs and listens to ‘Ma’ and ‘Da’

arguing in the kitchen. We can tell that he doesn’t want to believe that there

is any serious trouble by the fact that as soon as it stops he ‘realises’ that

it wasn’t anything to worry about and goes back to bed. Another event leading up

to Paddy’s parent’s break up is when Ma decides that it is time they went out

for a family outing. However, as it was raining they had to take the car and

drive to a place that was close enough to walk but the weather wouldn’t allow

them to. The family has a picnic in the car but, oblivious to Paddy and his

brother, his parents are having another disagreement. Patrick hears his mother

say something but think that his father hears her. He doesn’t realise that ‘Da’

is ignoring her. When ‘Ma’ leaves the car Paddy and his brother assume that she

has gone for ice creams but she gets back in because "It was too wet for

Cathy". Patrick knows that something had happened but didn’t know what. On

several occasions the subject is changed to avoid the children being subjected

to the tension between ‘Ma’ and ‘Da’. In one instance Paddy walks in from school

and into an argument. This makes him more aware of the problems, his father then

asks him about school to change the conversation. From this passage I have

noticed that Patrick seems to view things as black and white, not in the literal

sense but as straight forward and short term. He doesn’t realise that things go

deeper or that he has a false sense of control. Another of the most important

pieces of this book is when Paddy is sitting on the stairs listening to his

parents arguing and he is rocking back and forth. This shows that the tension

between his parents is affecting him more than anyone thinks. The ‘rocking’

action can be described as tension deficit, which can be caused by loneliness or

attention seeking. In Roddy Doyle’s novel, Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, young Patrick

is so distressed over his parents’ fighting with each other that he stays up all

night trying to prevent their quarrels. Like many children whose parents break

up, Patrick thinks he is somehow responsible, but he does not understand what is

going wrong or why. He loves both of them, especially his mother. He acts out

his anxiety over the discord between his parents by often getting into fights

and by being mean and abusive to his younger brother. For awhile he thinks that

if he were to run away, his parents would stay together. He thinks of questions

to ask them so they will talk to him and not fight with each other. But his

father leaves for good, and Paddy is left with the teasing chant of his

schoolmates: "Paddy Clarke, Paddy Clarke, Lost his Da, Ha, Ha, Ha."

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