What accounts for Old Mahon's acceptance of his son at the end of The Playboy of the Western World by J. M. Synge,?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In The Playboy of the Western World by J. M. Synge, the relationship between Old Mahon and his son Christy Mahon is one that we would now describe as abusive, and possibly based on alcoholism and co-dependency. Old Mahon is portrayed as someone who bullies his son and enjoys the power he holds over the son. He doesn't reject his son at any point but rather travels to recover him. Rather than deploring Christy's having nearly killed him, he may even admire that Christy is becoming more "manly". Part of what made the play so scandalous was the way it portrayed the "western world" as so accepting of casual violence.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial