What is a summary of "Juno and the Paycock" by Sean O'Casey?

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pnhancock eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The play Juno and the Paycock, written by Sean O'Casey, tells the story of the Boyle family. The play takes place in a Dublin tenement in 1922, just after the Irish Civil War began. The Boyle family consists of father Jack, who spends his days drinking at the pub; mother Juno, the only working member of her family; daughter Mary, who is on strike; and son Johnny, who cannot work due to disability. One day, the family receives a large inheritance from one of Jack's relatives, and he promises to change his lifestyle.

Instead, Jack begins recklessly spending on credit, while the family fails to receive the inheritance. Mary also becomes pregnant with the child of Mr. Bentham, who delivered the news of the family's inheritance, and he suddenly disappears. Jack discovers that he will not receive his money because Bentham failed to draft the will correctly, and that his disappearance was the result of his fleeing the country in shame over the error. Around this time, Johnny, who was an informant for the army, is kidnapped by the IRA and a body matching his description is found by a country road. The play ends with Mary leaving to live with a relative, and Juno leaving to identify Johnny's body, with plans to leave her husband afterwards. Jack returns home from the pub, unaware that his son is dead and the rest of his family has left him, and drunkenly considers his final sixpence.

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Juno and the Paycock

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