Saturday, October 26, 2019

What is the role of Owen in Translations? :: English Literature

What is the role of Owen in Translations? One of the first things Owen says on returning to Baile Beg is â€Å"I can’t believe it. I come back after six years and everything’s just as it was! Nothing’s changed!† It is really Owen who has changed into a different person after his time away from Baile Beg. His primary role in the play is that of a translator for the visiting English, but within his role of translator he is also vital to the play as his presence allows relationships between the characters and the plot to develop. Owen provides many contrasting point of views due to the fact that he is working for the English but also a Baile Beg resident. He is a representative of the more forward - thinking Irish, such as himself and Maire. He and Maire realise that for the natural progression of the Irish society they need to work with the English and not against them. Owen has passed the cultural divide that exists between the Irish and English because he can communicate with them and understand their point of view. He has also progressed as an individual through knowledge and understanding. This could be Friel’s way of saying that progress can only come after understanding. Manus can also speak English but chooses not to, this shows the importance of communication to progression. He prefers to use a language, which is becoming less widely used, this may be a symbol of the backwardness of his homeland. The most significant enemy in the re-naming of the places is that the Irish believe it to be a removal of their heritage and tradition, as Manus says, â€Å"What’s incorrect about the place names we have here?† Owens’s view on the idea of preservation of tradition is very questionable. For example when he and Yolland are discussing what to call Tobair Vree he asks, â€Å"do we keep piety with a man long dead, long forgotten, his name eroded beyond recognition, whose trivial little story nobody else in the parish remembers?† Here Owen points to the Irish people’s almost instinctive fear of change. He thinks that tradition is silly and just an excuse to hide from progression. Owen is the neutral and less passionate character in the play; therefore the audience find it easier to relate with Owen. In fact it is possible to call Owen the chief narrator. Although Owen is the translator in the play he acts as more of a barrier of understanding because when translating for Yolland and Lancey he omits details and changes meanings for words. A good example for this would be when he changes Maire’s sentence of â€Å"Has he

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