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In Synge's, Riders to the Sea, what does Maurya mean, "No man at all can be living...

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sagar2009 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 25, 2009 at 4:26 AM via web

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In Synge's, Riders to the Sea, what does Maurya mean, "No man at all can be living forever, and we must be satisfied"?

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dstuva | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted December 29, 2009 at 2:13 AM (Answer #1)

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Synge's tragic one-act play, Riders to the Sea, ends with Maurya concluding:  "No man at all can be living forever, and we must be satisfied."  At this point Maurya has accepted her fate and the fates of her family members.  To paraphrase, she says that no one lives forever, so she must accept that her last son is now dead.  Her statement is ironical in the sense that she has spent the entire play, and indeed her entire adult life, trying to keep the men in her family alive.  It is also ironical in the sense that while it is true that all must die, it is unusual that all die so young.  Maurya has tried to keep her men safe from the sea, but to no avail.  By the conclusion of the play she has nothing left to lose, her family is destroyed (the males literally destroyed by the sea and the females, including herself, left with no way to feed themselves), and she is defeated and hopeless.  Humans are helpless against the domination of natural forces.

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