Even though the worlds of the three texts I studied are radically different, I believe that the main characters in each of the texts are hugely influenced by their cultural context and in many cases, are in conflict with the world they inhabit. The texts I have studied are ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ (DL) by Brien Friel, ‘Inside I’m Dancing’ (inside…) directed by Damien O’Donnell and ‘Panther in the Basement’ (PB) by Amos Oz.
The settings of all the texts are vastly different yet similarly all the main characters are affected by the cultural context they live in. ‘DL’ is set in Ballybeg, a small rural village in Donegal in the year 1936, ‘Inside…’ is set in Dublin City in the year 2004 while ‘PB’ is set in Jerusalem in 1947.
In the main text, DL, Religion clearly has a huge influence and I think, has almost a controlling effect on the lives of the Mundy sisters causing conflict with the world they live in. While having Fr. Jack, a priest, in the family brought them a status within the community the negative effects of the power of the catholic religion were greater than the positive. The family is frowned upon because of the birth of Michael out of wedlock. And after Jack returns from Africa practicing Pagan rituals the family is outcast even further from society. Kate, the main breadwinner in the house, then looses her job because of this. Although religion is not important in ‘Inside…’ it does have a significant influence in ‘PB’ as Proffy and his family stick strictly to the teachings if the Old Testament only. It is also evident when Proffy uses the bible to teach Sergeant Dunlop Hebrew. Unlike ‘DL’ and ‘Inside…’, in ‘PB’ the influence of politics causes much more conflict between the main characters and their culture than religion does, with the displaced Jews been forced to live under British rule in Jerusalem and stick strictly to a 7pm curfew or be faced with harsh punishments.
A major aspect, similar to all the three texts, that...