Female Agency in the Political and Familial Structure in Juno and the Paycock

Amidst the cynical, complaint ridden tone of Sean O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock, Mary has the hope for change in the form of her being on strike. She is optimistic that her actions can cause political change. I’d like to explore in my paper the context of her involvement in striking,i8./ and in addition, how women such as her mother, Juno, also embody the spirit of an active and change seeking woman. Mary and Juno embody two different minds where change is concerned. Mary feels that she and others can make a difference by making noise and is not afraid of repercussions or of what those in positions of power think of her. She is about the principle almost to a point of tunnel vision in not being able to contend with qualifying a principle in order to act for the good of her family. Juno is concerned with presentation and believes principles must be bent in order to survive in the system instead of attempting to change it. Even though she does not have high hopes for systematic change, Juno represents a change by her mere personality and role in the family because she is very loudly the only member of the family who is financially providing. The sources I have chosen will provide context to these two opposing female forces in the play, showing them as emblematic of the many struggles in Dublin at the time.

1 Comment

  1. Avery,

    I think this topic is super interesting! Similar to how Dublin and Ireland were undergoing changes, gender roles were in a process of development as well. Both women in the story embody feminism in their own way, although very differently, just as there are many variations in feminism today. I would love to learn more about how each type of feminism was active in Dublin at this time. I wonder if one type is more impactful than the other.

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