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No More Laughing For Paddy. Speaks Of Roddy Doyle's "Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha"

860 words - 3 pages

Roddy Doyle's Paddy Clarke HA HA HA was a beautifully written book. Itperfectly captures the mind of a ten year old boy in Ireland during the mid-1960's. PaddyClarke, the young boy who Doyle uses to enter the mind of a ten year old, is a boy whomost can relate to. The book explores most aspects of life through the eyes of Paddy.Doyle takes us through childhood and childhood's end. Doyle is able to seize thecomplexities of life, but at the same time simplify them enough for ten year old.Everything is a mystery or an adventure to Paddy and his friends. From taking overconstruction sites to receiving polio check-ups. However not everything is a game toPaddy. His parents lack of compatibility troubles Paddy and his brother Sinbad greatly.The intensity of his parents arguments accelerate as the book goes on. At times Paddyfeels he can stop them, at one point he considers himself a 'referee' in the fights. 'I didn'tknow what I'd do. If I was there he wouldn't do it again, that was all.'(p.191) He ends upcontemplating who he would want to win. He comes to the conclusion that he would wanthis mom to win because she does so much for him, however his father is his father and heloves him.Sinbad reacts differently to his parents fighting. He doesn't try to intervene or stopthem. In fact he closes up, he implodes emotionally. He cuts himself off from everyone.During one of their parents arguments Paddy tries to talk to Sinbad, but Sinbad shutshimself off. ''Sinbad?' He didn't answer. He wasn't asleep though, I knew the breathing. Icould hear him listening. I didn't move. I didn't want him to think I was going to get him.'(p.222)This drama did not effect me as much as the daily life. The fights I could not relateto. I had never experienced arguments of such high caliber. But inevitably I hadexperienced the life of a ten year old. I could relate to Paddy's reactions to certainsituations at school. For instance when Paddy and his grade are in line to receive check-ups a joke is made and Paddy says, ' I laughed harder than I had to. We all did' (p.144).Doyle was able to allow me to not just be a reader but an actor. He was able tomake me believe that I was part of Paddy Clarke. Just the way the book was set upbrought me closer to the days of being ten. The book was formatted like Paddy's mind.Jumping from thought to thought and scene...

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