Mater Dolorosa

Abject Mothers in Roddy Doyle’s The Snapper (1990) and Mary Morrissy’s Mother of Pearl (1995)
  • Linden Peach


Roddy Doyle’s The Snapper (1990) is the second of three novels devoted to the fictitious Rabbitte family in Barrytown, Dublin. The others are The Commitments (1987) and The Van (1991). Characterized by their emphasis upon the present and the different voices of the working-class community of North Dublin, they shifted the agenda according to which Irishness was generally explored and discussed in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This was in itself an important development as the urban working class had often been marginalized in Ireland by de Valera’s vision of a rural and agricultural nation state. Voices predominate in this trilogy; at one level, the texts appear to be more like play scripts than novels, eschewing the kind of authorial description and the kind of narrative exposition we normally associate with a novel. In particular, Ireland is presented as a country open to its own traditional influences but also absorbing influences from Great Britain and the United States, and, perhaps in its emphasis upon the latter, underestimating the impact of European influence on the Dublin economy.


Child Dyad Figurative Language Religious Discourse Life Script Mother Figure 
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© Linden Peach 2004

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  • Linden Peach

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