paddy clarke

In Roddy Doyle’s Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, the title protagonist, a mischievous 10 year old Irish boy, learns the “rules of the playground”, and through his (and his peers’) behavior, reflects the theme of Naturalism (dog-eat-dog, “survival of the fittest”). One can see one such example of this theme through Henno’s actions of calling an incorrect student a worm (Doyle 61). This scene illustrates the notion that those who do worse than other are less than human, or that a person is only worth respect if they are traditionally intelligent. Yet another scene that embodies this concept of the social “pecking order” of youth is when Paddy’s mother explains that Paddy’s Father has a better job than Ian’s father and she tells him to not tell Ian, he goes and tells Ian anyway (Doyle 34&35) to get a one up on him. Indeed, one can see here how the boy with a dad with a better job is better than another because that boy’s dad is better than the other so his son must be better than the other man’s son. The children also learn this behavior from Henno when they learn that they will be punished on Monday if they get sick on Friday (Doyle 64). This teaches them a more animalist notion that only the healthy deserve more and if someone is weak then it is their fault and need to be taught to not be weak.
In Roddy Doyle’s Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, the title protagonist, a mischievous 10 year old Irish boy, learns the “rules of the playground”, and through his (and his peers’) behavior, reflects the theme of Naturalism (dog-eat-dog, “survival of the fittest”). One can see one such example of this theme through Henno’s actions of calling an incorrect student a worm (Doyle 61). This scene illustrates the notion that those who do worse than other are less than human, or that a person is only worth respect if they are traditionally intelligent. Yet another scene that embodies this concept of the social “pecking order” of youth is when Paddy’s mother explains that Paddy’s Father has a better…

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