Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Deprived of wealth and estates by relatives, Widow Barry devotes herself to the careful rearing of her son Redmond. Uncle Brady takes a liking to the lad and asks the widow for permission to take the child to his ancestral home, Brady Castle. While there, Barry is treated kindly by his uncle. One of his cousins, Mick, persecutes him, however, and Mrs. Brady hates him. Aggressive by nature, Barry invites animosity; his landless pride in his ancestral heritage leads him into repeated neighborhood brawls until he fights every lad in the area and acquires the reputation of a bully. At age fifteen, he falls in love with twenty-four-year-old Nora Brady, who is in love with Captain John Quinn, an Englishman. Deeply in debt, Uncle Brady hopes that Nora will marry the captain, who promises to pay some of the old man’s debts. Thoroughly unscrupulous and lacking in appreciation for his uncle’s kindness, Barry insults Quinn in a fit of jealousy and wounds him in a duel.
Believing the captain dead, Barry hurriedly sets out on the road to Dublin. On the way, he befriends Mrs. Fitzsimons, the victim of a highway robbery. She takes him to her castle where Barry spends some of his own money in a lavish attempt to create a good impression. When he loses all his money through high living and gambling, Mrs. Fitzsimons and her husband are glad to see him leave.
Barry next takes King George’s shilling and enlists for a military expedition in Europe. Boarding...
(The entire section is 1206 words.)
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