The play “Dancing at Lughnasa” written by Brain Friel is full of different types of relationships which I will explore in my essay.
The typical and traditional example of relationships between women and man in this play is portrayed through Chris and Gerry. The dynamics of their relationship infrequently changes with time. Although they are bound together by their son Michael, they don’t live together and aren’t married. Gerry visits are irregular and unexpected; usually whenever he takes it into his head. Nobody can predict when he’ll arrive again “We probably won’t see Mr. Evans for another year – until the humour suddenly takes him again.” His behavior, his irresponsible and unserious attitude towards her shows the lack of desire in earnest relationship. “… two dozen times I couldn’t get away. Something turned up and I couldn’t get away.” Along the time Chris realizes that he cannot change himself, he will walk out and break her heart again “You wouldn’t intend to but that’s what would happen because that’s your nature and you can’t help yourself.” Their relationships are fated to failure. Therefore when Gerry purposes to Chris during his another visit, she refuses to him. She understands that his words are vain and worthless but she still experiences feelings to him, which prevent her from breakdown of their relationship. “Oh, yes you have a handsome father, you are lucky boy and I am a very, very lucky woman.”
The cycle of hopes and disappointments of development of their relationships repeats until Gerry dies in England at his home with his loving wife and children’s. For Chris the existence of his family has been forever left uncertain and her unrequited love to Gerry was never been answered.
The parental relationship between Michael and his parents are varied in this play. The lack of time spent together with his father played a significant role in their relationships. None of them knew each other closely and didn’t interact in any intense way. Gerry wasn’t interested in the maintenance of good relationship, as he never tried to find the time to come and spend it with his son. He feed him with worthless and endless promises about a new bike “each time he proposed to Mother and promise me a new bike.” He didn’t consider it in serious way and didn’t keep one’s word.
The relationship between Michael and his mother is good and strong. They interact in normal and usual way as the mother with child. “Where’s that Michael fellow got to? Michael!” Her profound love is expressed in taking care of him.
In comparison with Michael’s father, the interrelation with his Aunts occurs in more intensive manner. “She catches his head between her hands and kisses the crown of his head.” He binds them all together as every one of them loves and cares about him daily. The fact that they all together bear the shame brought by his mother by having him – as it was called “out of wedlock”, proves how important and dear he is to them.