Playboy of the Western World

Topics: Protection, Entertainment, John Millington Synge Pages: 2 (581 words) Published: April 17, 2007
In J. M. Synge's play, "Playboy of the Western World," Christy Mahon and the villagers, have a "social contract" of sorts. The "contract" protects Christy and allows the villagers to have something out of it for their advantage too. Christy receives protection, because the villagers would not turn him over to "the peelers," or commit him to their own form justice. However, Christy's protection comes to him at a price. For their part in protecting Christy, the villagers are granted him as a source of entertainment for all. Each party holds up their side of the unspoken agreement through most of the play. Christy is granted immunity from the justice of both the country and the people, from the "social contract." He attempted to murder his father, and in his mind, and the minds of the villagers, he was successful in doing so. Being wanted by the law, he is in a vulnerable position. The villagers use his vulnerability to their advantage, to force Christy to stay with them and entertain them. Christy, on the other hand, receives the villagers' protection. They will neither turn him in, nor exercise their own justice on him. They also give him a roof over his head, food in his belly, and new clothing. He needs them at a vulnerable position in his life. From the "social contract," the villagers are granted the entertainment of Christy's presence. Also, on a more person to person level, Jimmy finds a new bar hand, the girls are allowed to admire a new piece of eye candy, and Pegeen finds a new object to love. The main part of the bargain that Christy must uphold is that he tells the story of the "murder" of his father. This story thrills the villagers, and makes them feel excited. He tells the story of the "murder" on cue, and has to tell it multiple times to everyone in the town. Each time he tells it he varies it slightly, thereby making it more exciting and entertaining with each telling. His story is the main part of the glue holding the whole "contract"...
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