Exploring Juno As A Victim In Sean O’casey’s, Juno And The Paycock

1031 words - 4 pages

To what extent is Juno a Victim in Sean O’Casey’s, ‘Juno and the Paycock?’

We see Juno as a victim in ‘Juno and the Paycock’ as she has to contend with extreme poverty and she has the daily struggle of trying to make ends meet. This is shown as the family of four live in a rundown rented tenement house. Jack, her husband, and Joxer are always lying about the house doing nothing but drinking and eating everything. Juno is a victim here as we get the impression that Jack tries his best to avoid his wife and makes her take care of everything in the house. We also learn that Juno is in debt and it is so bad, after finally breaking down she says, “Who has kep’ this house together fur the past ten years – only me.” This highlights how much she is victimised by her family as Jack is not a very good father or husband. He lazily refuses to work due to the ‘awful sore’ pains in his legs, "You'd think he was bringin' twenty poun's a week the way he's going on. He wore out the Health Insurance long ago, he's afther wearin' out the unemployment dole, an', now, he's tryin' to wear me out." This forces Juno to work overtime to earn enough for their whole family to survive. The fact that Mary, her daughter, has gone on strike from her job drives Juno closer to a mental breakdown, as her stress is increased voluntarily as the strike is unnecessary. The fact that Johnny is unable to work adds to her workload.
Juno is also a victim of politics as she loses her son Johnny for another unnecessary cause. Both of her children believe strongly in the saying that ‘A principle’s a principle’. Juno is too concerned about the stuggles that she faces everyday to worry about any principles and is annoyed that Johnny and Mary do not do the same. As she sees it, Johnny lost his best principle when his arm was blown off by an explosion in the troubles. She is also left with the the responsibility of looking after Johnny, showing her caring nature

when Mary does not give a glass of water even though Juno is busy at the time. Juno blames Irish Politics for the death of her son and her neighbour, Mrs Tancred’s son.
In the play, when there is word of Jack Boyle’s cousin leaving to his cousins a share of wealth in his will, Juno becomes somewhat excited and makes a big mistake by letting her tight grip of the household slip. She allows her husband to retake control of things, which ends up a big mistake. Juno is victimised by not being able to trust and rely on her foolish, lazy husband and we see she is punnished for this, as no money came for them after all.
Another occasion when we see the extent to which Juno is a victimised is when Mary is pregnant. Juno looks after her and is willing to devote...

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