Dancing at Lughnasa

by Brian Friel

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To what extent do you feel Rose is isolated from the rest of the family in Dancing at Lughnasa?

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A part of Rose's isolation from the family is her mental condition. She perceives life differently and this creates a fundamental barrier between herself that the rest of the family.  Her "simple" nature is different than the rest of her family.  At the same time, Rose's sisters perceive her interactions with Danny Bradley.  Rose believes that Danny is in love with her.  The other sisters believe differently.  This helps to create another level of isolation with the family.  The fact that Rose ends up dying alone and apart from others in the family further confirms that Rose is isolated from the rest of the family.  Her death takes place in isolation from others.  In the end, Rose's isolation is brought about because she is different.  She perceives the world differently.  Her perception of reality is not able to be fully reconciled with the reality that is around her.  As a result, her isolation increases, and makes her distant from any real and substantive notion of connection and interaction in the world.  Rose's differences are not elements that bring others together.  Rather, they help to forge the different breaks between herself and the rest of the world.  As a result, Rose's isolation becomes one of the definitive elements to her characterization and helps to enhance the fragmentation that is an intrinsic part of her narrative.

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