“Big Maggie is a formidable women who is used to getting her own way”. Discuss in light of what you have read
From my reading of this play I do agree that big Maggie is a formidable character who is used to getting her own way because she is a strong character towards her sons Maurice and Mick. She will not let Maurice marry the women he loves unless she pays £1,500. This is manifested in the line “the day she lobs £1,500 on the counter I’ll be the first women to dance at her wedding”. It is also evident when she refused to give Mick the farm. This is manifested in the line “you’ll get nothing out of it naturally, not year anyways”. This shows that she is strong person because she doesn't give in to her children.
I feel that she is also a controlling women. She controls her children by treating them like kids or servants. She thinks that she owns them. This drives them away. This is evident in the line “you have good food and you’ll have pocket money” and “I’m not going to be a servant any longer”.
I think Maggie is a practical women by the way she tells Byrne about what she wanted on the headstone. Maggie wants it simple, with no lies written on it. This shows us that she is not very sentimental. She won’t write anything she doesn’t mean about her husband. This is evident in the line “there’s enough lies written on the headstones of Ireland without my adding to them“.
I feel that Maggie has a confrontational nature. This can be seen when she lunges at Katie grabbing her by the hair and swings her around the stage, screaming at her “have I raised a whore?” And also can be seen when she threatens to break the brush off her back. This conveys her confrontational nature, by how violent she is towards her children.
I feel that Maggie is a manipulative women. She forces her children into doing things. This can be seen when she blackmails Katie in to marrying John Conlon. She does this because she knows Katie had an affair with a married man, Toss Melch and thinks that she would be better off married to the wealthy well-to-do Conlon. She bullies Katie into telling her who the married man was that she slept with. This is manifested in the line “tell me the name of the man who was with you” she says this because she is trying to get the truth out.
Maggie believes that she is a good mother. She thinks she is doing the right thing but she ends up hurting her children even more. This is evident when she kisses Teddy behind Gert’s back because she want Gert to know what Teddy was really like. She is extremely brazen in the way that she does this as she leads Teddy on. She said that she was doing it for Gert's own good, but instead this hurts Gert and pushes her away. This is manifested in the line “she’ll get over it and she won’t travel the same road I did”.
In conclusion I would agree that she is a formidable women because she always gets what she wants.
By Emma Feeney 5th Year
Big Maggie Key Quotations
Gert: “He was not saint but he was my father”
Maggie: “ She’s the only he had any time for (Katie) he liked them sonsy and she’s all that twill be knocked out of her I promise you that.”
Maggie to Gert: “How dare you talk like that to your mother?”
Katie: “Don’t leave Mick don’t give in to her tis what she wants”
Katie: “you will not dominate me”
Mary: “I can see I won’t get any sympathy for you”
Mary: “By Jesus you won’t wipe the floor with me”
Maggie: “I’m alone now but I’m free and not too many women can say that”
Maggie: “you’ll get nothing out of it naturally, not yet anyway. You have roof over your heads. You have good food and you’ll have pocket money”
Maggie: “The day she lobs up £1,500 on the counter I’ll be the first women to dance at her wedding”
Compiled by Emma Feeney 5th year