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Dancing at Lughnasa Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 40 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Dancing at Lughnasa.
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A central theme of Friel's play is memory. The action of the play, which takes place in the later summer of 1936, is framed as a depiction of Michael's memories of his childhood. In his closing monologue, the character of Michael as a young man explains the significance of these memories:

And so, when I cast my mind back to that summer of 1936, different kinds of memories offer themselves to me. But there is one memory of that Lughnasa time that visits me most often; and what fascinates me about that memory is that it owes nothing to fact. In that memory atmosphere is more real than incident and everything is simultaneously actual and illusory. In that memory, too, the air is nostalgic with the music of the thirties.

Friel is interested in personal memory not as a means of reproducing factual incidents, but as a means of recapturing...

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This section contains 658 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Dancing at Lughnasa from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.