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John Millington Synge Writing Styles in The Playboy of the Western World

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Style

Realism and Poetry

The play is an interesting mixture of realism and poetry. Synge's time on the Aran Islands studying the inhabitants helped him create vivid and accurate portraits of Irish life. He writes in his preface to the play that his experiences on the islands provided him "more aid than any learning could have given [him]."

His focus in the play also reflects the dominant themes of realism, with its attention to ordinary people confronting difficult social problems. In The Playboy of the Western World, Synge adopts this focus in his depiction of the villagers' treatment of Christy, which is based on a combination of the community's devotion to mythmaking and its mob mentality.

The language of the play is a complex combination of realism and poetry. Dubliners were initially shocked by terms like "shift," referring to women's garments that they found filthy—terms that are considered...

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This section contains 246 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Playboy of the Western World Study Guide
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The Playboy of the Western World from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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