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Is Bartley a Christ figure in Riders to the Sea?Bartley's death ironically liberates...

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Is Bartley a Christ figure in Riders to the Sea?

Bartley's death ironically liberates Maurya from the tyranny of the sea. He goes to the sea in stubborn defiance of his mother's repeated entreaties because of her premonitions. Bartley being the last male member of Maurya's family, his death salvages the old mother as she accepts the inevitability of death. Bartley could not be given his piece of bread, and the coffin-makers at the end of the play express their surprise that Maurya forgot to buy nails. We all know how bread and nails are long associated with the last supper and the crucifixion.

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epollock's profile pic

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Possibly a christ figure, but it is somewhat vague as opposed to the clear references to the old man in The Old Man and the Sea.

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I think there are definitely elements of the Christ story in this excellent narrative. You might want to think about the way in which Maurya sprinkles holy water on the clothes of her son, which perhaps could be viewed as an echo of the women going to find the body of Jesus and only finding the burial clothes that covered him.

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