Tyrannical Fathers in Literature

Examines the role of tyrannical father in Roddy Doyle’s Paddy Clarke, Ha, Ha, Ha! and Nino Ricci’s “Lives of the Saints”.

This paper discusses the books “Paddy Clarke, Ha, Ha, Ha!” and “Lives of the Saints” in terms of tyrannical fathers who create tyrannical offspring. The paper examines how Doyle describes the adolescence of a 10 year-old working-class boy in Dublin of the 1960s, an environment of much poverty and hardship. The paper then examines Ricci’s messages of adult’s influences on the child even in his adult years.
“The character of Paddy Clarke’s father is first introduced as an obviously distant soul, who responds more than simply to his son’s questions concerning the book he is reading, then again, as a passive or withdrawn person in a sequence which sees the family leaving Dublin for an outing: through several pages, his father simply responds to what his mother says or offers to him, remaining detached from his family. (1993, 91f). In turn, and as is also presented in Ricci’s Lives of the Saints, other characters tend to react all the same to fathers who are distant, who maintain their selves separate from those who love them, and to the extreme of Vittorio’s father in Lives of the Saints whose total absence by way of emigration has not ended the lingering influence involved. Culture and convention work to keep respectful relationships in place that might not be chosen, were people acting as individuals outside of these cultures.”