What atmosphere is created by the opening tableaux and monologue in Dancing at Lughnasa?

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MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The atmosphere is one of nostalgia and tragedy. Although the play opens with a seemingly heart-warming family scene, Michael quickly explains in the opening monologue that within a year, Uncle Jack will die & two sisters will leave the family home forever. Centered around the new radio, the family is paused in various chores. This tableaux establishes each sister's place in the family, creating the hierarchy and structure that will persist throughout the play. In the monologue, Michael reminisces on his seventh year, slowly unraveling the threads that hold this family together.