Books and Movies Reviews

The themes of Paddy Clarke Ha

There are several core themes that run throughout Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. Thefirst one we encounter, on thefirst page in fact, is the relationship he has with his friends. At the beginning of the novel his friends are a hugely important part of his life, but as the novel progresses, they gradually become less important. Another relationship that changes gradually is that with his brother, as his friendship with Kevin and his gang is degrading, Paddy's relationship with his brother is slowly improving. He is no longer just a target for his abuse, and gains Paddy's admiration, and at times his jealousy. The most prominent theme throughout the book though is Paddy's relationship with his parents. It is his parents, who have most influence over him, and he admires them greatly, we constantly see him, studying their mannerisms, and trying to determine why they have done certain things. Like the other central relationships in the book, Paddy's relationship with his ma and da, change over the course of the novel. At the beginning, he is slightly in awe of his da, and seeks his approval constantly, but as he sees another side to his da, his need for his approval diminishes and he spends more time with his ma, possibly trying to protect her. The breakdown of the marriage is another theme to be examined. At the beginning of the novel, we see Paddy as a carefree kid, but as the fights become more frequent, we see fewer tales of Paddy's mischief and Paddy becomes more introverted. He stays awake for hours on end attempting to stop the fights with the power of thought alone. The fights have a profound effect on Paddy, he blames himself, and begins to examine all around him, looking for reasons as to why the two people he loves are constantly bickering. Paddy's maturing process is an important theme also. His transition from wide-eyed innocent to "man of the family" is a painful one for Paddy; he is forced …

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