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‘Lovers’ Brian Friel Quotes and Themes Created by L McCarry1.

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1 ‘Lovers’ Brian Friel Quotes and Themes Created by L McCarry1

2 ‘Lovers’ On the following slides you will find useful quotes under the plays main themes. Remember the themes can overlap and therefore some of the quotes can also be relevant in discussing a variety of the themes. Use the quotes that you feel best demonstrate your points. Created by L McCarry2

3 Frustrated Christianity ‘Winners’ Frustrated Christianity: Mag and Joe live in a Christian community and yet the majority of people in this community have shown them no benevolence, understanding or sympathy. They get little in the way of support outside their families. They are ostracised by their schools and by certain factions in their community. Created by L McCarry3

4 Frustrated Christianity Quotes ‘Joe: The town clerk –bang! All the teachers –bang! Mag: The church choir – Joe: Bang! Everyone that lives along snobby, snotty Melville Road – bang-bang- bang-bang!’ Pg. 18. This quote represents the couple’s feelings towards the pillars of the community. Created by L McCarry4

5 Frustrated Christianity ‘Losers’ They worship (in Andy’s case he is forced to worship) a plaster-cast saint. St Philomena represents the Church. The ritual of placing St Philomena at the heart of the proceedings when they go through the ritual of the Rosary highlights Cissy and Mrs Wilson’s dependency on ‘Churchianity.’ The references to Father Peyton’s dogmatic maxims further help to point up their dependency on Churchianity. Created by L McCarry5

6 Frustrated Christianity ‘Losers’ Cissy and Mrs Wilson use their ‘Churchianity’ as a powerful weapon to maintain the status quo and keep the moral high ground. Andy and Hanna are not shown any kind of warmth, understanding or caring Christianity by Cissy or Mrs Wilson. They consequently suffer from the harshness of a cold, calculated, brutal, dogmatic and inflexible Christianity. We witness a lack of truthful spirituality. The proceedings are a sham. Created by L McCarry6

7 Frustrated Christianity -Quotes ‘Losers’ ‘Andy: And how’s Saint Philomena? Hanna: You can laugh. ‘The pair of you’ll be up later for the Rosary, won’t you?’ Andy: (Mock devotion) With the help of God.’ Pg. 56. This quote shows Andy being reminded of the expectations placed on him. Created by L McCarry7

8 Frustrated Christianity -Quotes ‘Losers’ ‘Cissy: …Andrew –thanks be to God. Well…I’ll see you both at ten. Andy: Joyful mysteries tonight, Cissy, isn’t it? Cissy: Thursday – so it is! Oh, you’re coming closer and closer to us, Andrew Tracey!’ Pg. 61. Again this quote showing the expectation for Andy to attend. Andy mocks this, displaying his attitude towards the ritual. Created by L McCarry8

9 Frustrated Christianity -Quotes ‘Losers’ ‘Andy: And she knew that I knew what she was up to with her wee sermons about Father Peyton and all that stuff about the family that prays together stays together.’ Pg. 60. This quote shows the manipulation Mrs Wilson would try to subtly use on Hanna and Andy to prevent Hanna from leaving. Created by L McCarry9

10 Frustrated Christianity -Quotes ‘Losers’ ‘Andy: And then there was the Rosary caper. Well, I mean to say, a man has to draw the line somewhere. Oh, no, says I; we may have to stay together out of necessity, says I, but by God it won’t be because we pray together.’ Pg. 69. This quote is great in demonstrating Andy’s true feelings about the religion and his attempt to take control and not take part. Although this doesn’t quite work! Created by L McCarry10

11 Frustrated Christianity -Quotes ‘Losers’ Andy:‘…the devotion of all Roman Catholics to Saint Philomena must be discontinued at once because there is little or no evidence that such a person ever existed.’ Like I never knew I was a spiteful man until that minute…my only thought was to stick that paper down the aul’ woman’s throat.’ Pg.70. This quote very clearly shows Andy’s Frustrated Christianity and his opportunity to try and break free from the control that Mrs Wilson has over the couple. Created by L McCarry11

12 Influence of the Catholic Religion ‘Winners’ The nuns at Mag’s school are depicted as dogmatic, authoritarian and inflexible. Interestingly the priests in Joe’s school are shown in a slightly better light than the nuns. His school is run by the clergy of the diocese – not by an order – so the implication is that they are marginally more human and open minded. However, Father Kelly is depicted as dogmatic, authoritarian and inflexible. Created by L McCarry12

13 Influence of the Catholic Religion ‘Winners’ Quotes ‘Joe: When Father Kelly sent for me last Friday fortnight, I knew I was done for…I must insist that you remove all your belongings from the college and that you don’t set foot within the grounds until the morning of the first examination.’ Pg. 44. This quotes highlights the consequences to Mag and Joe’s predicament and the response from the school in dealing with this i.e. that Joe was to be expelled. Created by L McCarry13

14 Influence of the Catholic Religion ‘Winners’ Quotes ‘Joe: (Pompous) I will not talk again about the dishonour you have brought to your school, your family, and yourself. And I trust you have made your peace with God. Goodbye, Brennan.’ Pg. 44. This is a good quote to show the Catholic school and communities response to their situation. This shows the focus on the ‘sin’ committed and the need to try to deal with the situation quickly to prevent any further mention of it. Created by L McCarry14

15 Influence of the Catholic Religion ‘Winners’ Quotes ‘Mag: And at home last week, every time I heard the convent bell, I cried: I felt so lost. I would have given anything to be a part of them – to be in the middle of them.’ Pg.46. This quote represents Mag’s isolation as she has been ostracised by her school and the community and even by her parents – ‘Mag: My God, the things they said to me – they seared my soul forever-’ Pg. 19. Created by L McCarry15

16 Influence of the catholic Religion ‘Losers’ Mrs Wilson is a deeply religious, pious, old woman. Andy informs us that she gathers Cissy, Hanna and himself around her bed every night at ten to say the Rosary. Mrs Wilson has her shrine to St Philomena. Her bedroom has been turned into a place of worship. There are flowers and candles which are lit each night when she goes through the Rosary. Andy’s portrayal of Mrs Wilson depicts a woman who is dogmatic, authoritarian and inflexible. Created by L McCarry16

17 Influence of the Catholic Religion ‘Losers’ Mrs Wilson has created a place of worship with visual reminders of her faith. She blindly follows her faith and continually expresses her devotion to St Philomena. She has latched on to the teachings of Father Peyton and recites his maxims. Her mantra – ‘The family that prays together stays together’ – is a constant reminder to Hanna of her duty in the eyes of the Church. Created by L McCarry17

18 Influence of the Catholic Religion ‘Losers’ Although at the end the devotion to St Philomena stops and Father Peyton no longer gets mentioned by name, Mrs Wilson ‘still has the altar and she still lights the candles and has the flowers in the middle’. We end the play with the clear affirmation that the influence of the Catholic church continues to have a firm grip on Andy. Created by L McCarry18

19 Influence of the Catholic religion-Quotes ‘Losers’ ‘Mrs Wilson: As Father Peyton says: the family that prays together stays together… And Father Peyton is right, isn’t he, Andrew? Andy: Right, Mrs. Wilson. Mrs Wilson: If you only knew the consolation it is for me to have you all kneeling around my bed. Cissy: It’s what you deserve. Mrs Wilson: Thank you, Saint Philomena. Thank you.’ Pg This quote helps to show the constant pressure Mrs Wilson puts onto Hanna and Andy to take part in the ritual of the Rosary and in a bigger sense her reminder of their expectations towards her in the eyes of the Church. Created by L McCarry19

20 Influence of the Catholic Religion ‘Losers’ Quotes ‘Andy: …when the bell rings I go up to the aul’ woman’s room for prayers. Well, I mean to say, anything for a quiet life.’ Pg. 75. ‘Andy…nothing much has changed up there. Philomena’s gone of course. And she never mentions Father Peyton anymore. But she still has the altar and she still lights the candles… and she still faces it when she’s praying and mouths away to it.’ Pg. 75 Both of these quotes show that despite the relegation of Saint Philomena, the religion continues to have a huge influence on Andy. Mrs Wilson has maintained her control in the house. Hanna now sleeps with her mother and Andy’s life has become one of loneliness and passive acceptance. Created by L McCarry20

21 Frustrated Love ‘Winners’ Mag’s pregnancy has forced the young lovers to conform to society’s expectations. Mag’s romantic rhetoric contrasts with Joe’s pragmatic attitude towards his studies. Mag has doubts about marriage to Joe and her future happiness. She needs reassurance. Mag gives an insight into the dysfunctional marriage of her parents and is determined not to end up like them. Joe’s angry outbursts reveal a deep-rooted resentment at finding himself caught in the predicament of having to get married because of Mag’s pregnancy. Created by L McCarry21

22 Frustrated Love ‘Winners’ We gain an insight into the dysfunctional marriage of the Brennans. Joe indicates that as married people get older they hardly love each other, yet stick together out of loyalty. We are made increasingly aware of the big differences between Mag and Joe. We see flashes of bitterness and doubt between them. Created by L McCarry22

23 Frustrated Love ‘Winners’ - Quotes ‘Mag: Stuck in you old books as if they were the most important thing in the world; an your- your- intended waiting like a dog for you to toss her a kind word.’ Pg. 23. We see here a distinct difference in their priorities as Mag has declared her love for Joe yet he has his focus on his studies. This often causes a lot of tension between the couple. Created by L McCarry23

24 Frustrated Love ‘Winners’ - Quotes ‘Mag: After we’re married we’ll have lots of laughs together, Joe, won’t we? We’ll laugh a lot, won’t we? (She begins to cry inaudibly) Joe, I’m nervous; I’m frightened, Joe; I’m terrified…’ Pg. 28. Mag has insecurities and doubts about their relationship as does Joe. This quote shows her need for reassurance and the fact that she is not entirely sure about their future. She usually tries to hide this through storytelling but here we see her true feelings. Created by L McCarry24

25 Frustrated Love ‘Winners’ - Quotes ‘Joe: You haven’t shut up for five consecutive minutes since we got here! You have done no work yourself and you have wasted my morning, too! And if anyone should be working, it’s you, because you haven’t a clue about anything! In fact, you’re the stupidest person I ever met!’ Pg Joe’s outburst highlights the difference between the characters attitudes and priorities towards education. Joe even insults Mag here highlighting a resentment and lack of respect towards her. Created by L McCarry25

26 Frustrated Love ‘Winners’ - Quotes ‘Joe: You trapped me into marrying you – that’s all right – I’ll marry you. But I’ll lead my own life. And somehow – somehow I’ll get a degree and be a maths teacher. And nobody neither you nor your precious baby nor anyone else, is going to stop me!’ Pg. 31. This is a vital quote in highlighting Joe’s feelings and bitterness towards the pregnancy and an inner resentment towards Mag. He blames her or takes his frustrations out on her in response to their predicament. This in turn creates more insecurities in the relationship. Created by L McCarry26

27 Frustrated Love ‘Winners’ - Quotes ‘Joe: Loyalty, I suppose; ‘cos when you’re that age, you hardly – you know- really love your husband or wife any more…’ Pg. 39. We gain an insight here into Mr and Mrs Brennan’s dysfunctional marriage and this obviously has an impact on Joe’s perception of love and relationships. The acceptance to stay together out of loyalty rather than for happiness is a reflection on his situation with Mag. Created by L McCarry27

28 Frustrated Love ‘Winners’ - Quotes ‘Joe: You know, we never speak at all, except maybe ‘Is the tea ready?’ or ‘Bring in some coal.’ …Sitting up there in that freezing attic, going over my old marks…’ Pg. 39. This quote helps to illustrate the awkward relationship Joe has with his father. In particular, in the fact they don’t speak yet his father has this hidden pride for his son’s achievements. The frustrated love is in the fact that his father is proud of him yet chooses to hide this and not express it to Joe. Created by L McCarry28

29 Frustrated Love ‘Winners’ - Quotes ‘Joe: And if you think the Brennan’s aren’t swanky enough for you, then by God you shouldn’t be in such a hurry to marry one of them! You dragged that out of me. But it happens to be the truth. And it’s better that it should come out now that after we’re married.’ Pg. 42. We see the bitterness and even class difference being reflected in this part of the play. In particular, this helps to highlight the contrast in the characters and the tensions and doubts they have about their relationship. Created by L McCarry29

30 Frustrated Love ‘Losers’ A couple who suffer from the kind of repression that Andy and Hanna suffer from cannot have a healthy love. Andy and Hanna have a dysfunctional marriage. We discover this in Andy’s opening monologue. Andy takes us backwards in time to show us why this has happened. Hanna has to look after her invalid mother. She has conformed to society’s expectations. If Hanna was to put her invalid mother into a home she would suffer from guilt and society’s disapproval would compound this feeling. This is a complex predicament. This is her mother, the woman who gave her life and brought her up in the Catholic faith. She would have been all too aware of her responsibilities and of the sanctity of the family. She is also bound in some ways to be very close to her mother; after all she rarely saw much of her father when he was alive. Her mother would have had a big influence in her formative years. Indeed you could almost say she brought Hanna up single-handedly. Hanna does feel trapped however. Created by L McCarry30

31 Frustrated Love ‘Losers’ Hanna has become a martyr to the needs of her mother and is weary and tired. We know that she has not had a man in her life for over twenty years. She is in love with Andy and doesn’t want to lose him. She wants time to be alone with him and to be loved. She is in her late forties. There could not have been many eligible bachelors in this community and Andy represents a reasonably good catch. He is of the same social class as Hanna. He has a job as a joiner. He has his own cottage. Created by L McCarry31

32 Frustrated Love ‘Losers’ Andy is pleasantly surprised by Hanna’s strength of feeling for him. He wants to marry Hanna and settle down in his cottage, ‘Riverview’. He doesn’t like Mrs Wilson. She drives a wedge between him and Hanna. He reluctantly agrees to Mrs Wilson’s wishes but is clearly uncomfortable at being made to go through the ritual of the Rosary every night. Andy and Hannah are frustrated every time Mrs Wilson’s bell rings. They rarely get the opportunity to be alone. As soon as they get passionate they are interrupted. This happens regularly. Created by L McCarry32

33 Frustrated Love ‘Losers’ Their time together is constantly interrupted by Cissy’s nightly visits and Mrs Wilson’s bell whenever she wants attention or if she is suspicious of what Andy and Hanna are up to downstairs. Created by L McCarry33

34 Frustrated Love ‘Losers’ Hanna doesn’t want to take up Andy’s offer of having Mrs Wilson live in his cottage because she knows that her mother will not settle for anything less than being the head of the house in her own home. But this in turn gives Mrs Wilson continued influence and power over Andy and Hanna. Andy doesn’t want to be caught in this particular trap. A future in Mrs Wilson’s household would be one of servitude and strict adherence to Mrs Wilson’s social and religious doctrines. Created by L McCarry34

35 Frustrated Love ‘Losers’ We know that Andy and Hanna’s relationship is doomed as soon as Andy reveals that he was persuaded to live in Mrs Wilson’s house. We question the true depth of Andy’s love when he reveals that a big reason for marrying Hanna was to avoid being sent to Belfast. Created by L McCarry35

36 Frustrated Love ‘Losers’ His relationship with Hanna changed as soon as they got married. ‘But somehow the spirit seemed to drain out of her from the very beginning.’ This is an ominous sign and indicates that the passion they had was to disappear. Once they were married Hanna did not show the same intensity of anger towards her mother. Created by L McCarry36

37 Frustrated Love ‘Losers’ Quotes ‘Andy: That bloody bell! And nine times out of ten, you know, she didn’t want a damn thing: Who’s at the door…Is it time for the Rosary? Any excuse at all to keep Hanna on the hop, and at the same time making damn sure we weren’t going to enjoy ourselves.’ Pg. 55. This demonstrates signs of the strain Mrs Wilson puts on their relationship and the building resentment Andy has for her. Her control within the house stops Hanna and Andy from having any alone time together. Created by L McCarry37

38 Frustrated Love ‘Losers’ Quotes ‘Andy: …to see a woman that had plenty of spark in her at one time and then to see her turn before your very eyes into a younger image of her mother, by God it’s strange, I tell you, very peculiar…’ Pg. 59. This quote helps to show that Andy is not as happy as he used to be in the relationship. He has expressed a dislike towards Mrs Wilson and to now compare her to Hanna shows his changed feelings towards her as well. Created by L McCarry38

39 Frustrated Love ‘Losers’ Quotes ‘Andy: …I have a place and all of my own, ready and furnished and everything! And leaping sky-high every time you hear a bloody bell isn’t my idea of married bliss! My God, you don’t expect that of me, do you? Well, do you?’ Pg. 63. This is a great example of Frustrated Love as their predicament of having to look after Mrs Wilson is causing tension between the couple. Andy also knows that if he has to stay in Mrs Wilson’s house then this will continue to give her control over them. Created by L McCarry39

40 Frustrated Love ‘Losers’ Quotes ‘Hanna: The day I get married I’m getting shot of her for good! And no matter what you say now, you know fine well you don’t want her hanging round your neck either.’ Pg. 63. Hanna vents her Frustrated Love towards her mother here as the strain of her responsibility takes its toll on her own future plans. Hanna displays real anger and resentment towards her mother. Created by L McCarry40

41 Frustrated Love ‘Losers’ Quotes ‘Stage direction: Hanna clumps around the room, doing her chores with an ungracious vigour and with obvious ill-will.’ Pg. 65. Another moment which comes after the ringing of the bell. This shows Hanna is tired of having to look after her mother and the frustration of having to put her mother's needs before her own. Created by L McCarry41

42 Frustrated Love ‘Losers’ Quotes ‘Andy: ‘All the single men in the joinery room are being sent to Belfast on a contract job.’ So there was nothing for it, like, but to get married.’ Pg. 68. This quote enables us to question Andy’s depth of feelings for Hanna and his reasons for marriage. This makes you question the fact that maybe they have both just ‘settled’ for each other. Created by L McCarry42

43 Frustrated Love ‘Losers’ Quotes ‘Andy: And a funny thing about the bloody bell, too…after we got married, it only went when Hanna and me started talking. Wasn’t that perverse now, eh?’ Pg. 69. This is an interesting quote as Mrs Wilson has changed tact here by not ringing the bell in silence but when she hears talking. She still exerts control yet she still does not want their relationship to develop, she wants to maintain the status quo in the house and now that they are married does not want Hanna to forget her place – which is by her mothers side. Created by L McCarry43

44 Frustrated Love ‘Losers’ Quotes ‘Andy: Hanna, things are… we’re not making…you and me, Hanna, we’re not…Here, have a clove rock, Hanna. Hanna: No. They’d put me off my supper.’ Pg. 76. This quote underpins the Frustrated Love Andy now feels yet he is unable to change this. This also represents the ‘nail in the coffin’ of their relationship. The clove rock was once a symbol and gesture of love, now Hanna casts it aside, unaccepting, almost as she has done with her relationship. Created by L McCarry44

45 Moral Responsibility ‘Winners’ This theme in ‘Winners’ mainly revolves around Joe and the fact that he must take responsibility to look after Mag and the baby. In the eyes of society it his duty to look after her. At first he resents this as it means forsaking his career and ambitions to stay in Ballymore and marry Mag. He does eventually conform and accepts his fate that he will have to accept the job working for Skinny Skeehan to provide for his family. Created by L McCarry45

46 Moral Responsibility ‘Winners’ Quotes ‘Joe: But if you think I’m going to waste my life in Skinny Skeehan’s smelly office, that’s where you’re mistaken.’ Pg. 31. An insight is given here into Joe’s resentment at having to get a job, giving up his dreams of becoming a maths teacher. Created by L McCarry46

47 Moral Responsibility ‘Winners’ Quotes ‘Joe: …I was working out our finances. The rent of the flat’s two-ten. That’ll leave us with about four-ten. And if I could get some private pupils, that would bring in another – say- thirty bob. We can manage fine on that, can’t we?’ Pg. 37. This quote demonstrates that Joe is thinking about their future and reflects his mature and pragmatic attitude towards their situation. He is thinking here about his family. Created by L McCarry47

48 Moral Responsibility ‘Winners’ Quotes ‘Joe: I’m not half good enough for you…But I’ll try to be tender and good to you; honest to God, I’ll try.’ Pg. 38. Joe originally plans to keep his savings for himself until he reads about a Caesarean and then we see a different side to him, a caring and tentative person who wants to look after her. Created by L McCarry48

49 Moral Responsibility ‘Winners’ Quotes ‘Joe: I think I should forget about studying and London University and all that. Mag: If that’s what you want. Joe: It's maybe not what I want. But that’s the way things have turned out. A married man with a family has more important things to occupy his mind besides bloody books.’ Pg. 47. In this quote we see that Joe has accepted his fate and what is expected of him in terms of responsibility. Mag does not try to challenge this. Joe’s future has been decided. Created by L McCarry49

50 Moral Responsibility ‘Losers’ Hanna is all too aware of her moral responsibilities. Society expects her to put the needs of her widowed, invalid mother before her own. Although Hanna ‘... clumps around the room, doing her chores with an ungracious vigour and with obvious ill-will’, she does do them. Hanna has been aware of her moral responsibilities ever since she was born. She hasn’t abandoned her mother although she does have good reason to. She is trapped. Created by L McCarry50

51 Moral Responsibility ‘Losers’ Divorce is not an option for Andy. He conforms to the role of a supportive husband. His life has become one of quiet acceptance. Hanna continues with her obligation to look after her mother. Created by L McCarry51

52 Moral Responsibility ‘Losers’ Quotes ‘Hanna: I come home from work beat out and before I get a bite in my mouth she says, ‘Run out like a good child and get us a sprig of fresh flowers for Saint Philomena’s altar.’ Andy: Did you go? (Hanna points to the flowers wrapped in paper) Pg. 55. This quote helps to show the acceptance from Hanna of her responsibility to put her mother’s needs before her own. Created by L McCarry52

53 Moral Responsibility ‘Losers’ Quotes ‘Cissy: Invalids is all saints – that’s what I say.’ Pg.65. ‘Mrs Wilson: Amen to that. Poor Hanna’s run off her feet, isn’t she? Cissy: A labour of love.’ Pg. 66. Here are two examples of remarks that are made particularly by Cissy to remind Hanna of her role as a daughter and in the expectation to look after her mother, while Cissy sits back! Created by L McCarry53

54 Moral Responsibility ‘Losers’ Quotes ‘Andy: Oh, no, says I; we may have to stay together of necessity, says I, but by God it won’t be because we pray together.’ Pg. 69. This is an example of Andy’s true feelings about the religious expectations placed on him but he also shows here that he is aware that he is now stuck in this unhappy marriage. Created by L McCarry54

55 Moral Responsibility ‘Losers’ Quotes ‘Andy: And then when the bell rings I go up to the aul’ woman’s room for the prayers. Well, I mean to say, anything for a quiet life. Hanna sleeps there now…just in case the aul’ woman should get an attack during the night.’ Pg. 75. The quite acceptance from Andy. He is now ostracised and lonely as Hanna has continued to put her mother first and his future with Hanna is bleak. Created by L McCarry55

56 Well Done! You have now completed some of the revision on the themes and quotes from Lovers. However, please read the full notes as they give a great insight into the characters and aspects to consider as a director and actor. Created by L McCarry56


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