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Conflicts In Borstal Boy By Brendan Behan

1095 words - 5 pages

Borstal Boy
Throughout history there have been many conflicts, some are internal issues, while some other are not. The book Borstal Boy by Brendan Behan is an example of both, at first most of the problems seem that the issues are worth killing and dying for; however towards the end the issues are more internally based. The issue at the beginning the issue is the liberation from the United Kingdom, this is when he joins the Irish Republic Army (IRA), and travels to Liverpool to blow up a port. At the end he realizes that the issue is internal and realizes that many other people just like him have very similar problems and that he needs to let something’s go.
In Borstal Boy, Brendan Behan ...view middle of the document...

This once again talk of the life experiences that the working classes share and how class has more in common than country. Ken was not only part of the working-class but also English, and even the other English inmates did not have the same connection as they did with other members of the same class. This is very key, this proves that nationality is not always the most important. Behan also says that, “It seemed a bit disloyal to me that I should prefer to be with boys from English cities than with my own countrymen and comrades from Ireland’s hills and glens” (Behan 118). This is what will later in the book be reaffirmed.

Throughout the book Brendan changes, in the beginning of the book, part one Brendan is imprisoned at Walton Prison where he is dehumanized by others and excommunicated from the Catholic Church. Towards the end of the book, part three, Brendan is not at his fourth prison and things start to turn for him. While he is at Hollesley Bay Borstal, his restrictions are virtually nonexistent; he has the ability to swim in the ocean when he is not working and starts to make new friend, like Ken. This proves that he can befriend non-Irish and non-Catholics. As mentioned earlier he was excommunicated from the church, and told by the prison’s priest that he was an “ignorant boy. In the second part of the book however he once again finds himself involved with the church, this was not his choice, as it was law in England. Therefore he went to mass but could not receive sacraments. This did not bother Brendan because services at London’s Feltham Boys’ Prison where very less serious, they every now and then involved humor and sometimes get off topic. Perhaps the most important aspect of Brendan going to Mass was that it was social, the boys could have unrestricted conversation. This acted as a great escape from all the work they conducted, and daily prison life. It was an opportunity to allow the boys to get out of their ruts. The fact...

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