At the top of page 26 we see Owen enter, we have not heard anything about him however the stage directions tell us a lot. From these directions we know that Owen is the younger son of Hugh, he is smartly dressed-a city man and that he has a charming personality. From the first line he speaks we know he has been away from Baile Beag as he is looking for Hugh and his hedge-school. However he is being sarcastic and is trying to make a big entrance by not knowing where the hedge-school is when he clearly does.
The first we see of his charming manner is when he greets everyone at the hedge-school. He greets each person individually and with the appropriate greeting. For example “Doalty! Playful punch How are you boy? Jacobe, quid agis? Are you well? ” For Doalty, the playful, mischievous type Owen gives him a playful punch well suited to Doalty’s character. For Jimmy he speaks Latin, again well suited to Jimmy’s character. However the greeting to Manus is not as everyone else’s.
I feel that he does not know how to greet Manus and there is obviously some kind of friction in their relationship. There is also the possibility of Manus being jealous of Owen who is getting all the attention from Hugh and that he is being treated like a slave. For each person he gives a separate, individual greeting, this demonstrates to us his charming side by showing how he can manipulate people to make himself liked and everyone else feel wanted, however Manus can see what Owen is doing and that is why he didn’t get a very warming greeting.
It seems that everyone Owen knows likes him, they are excited to see him and I think that he is glad to be back and they are glad to have him back. I feel that everyone likes Owen because of his charming mannerisms, for example flattery. He plays on there good nature when trying to introduce his purpose of coming back. “Not now, thanks; later. Listen-am I interrupting you all? ” They cannot respond with yes that would be rude so they say no, which leads Owen onto his next announcement. “Two friends of mine are waiting outside the door.
They’d like to meet you and I’d like you to meet them. ” Again he plays on their good nature by saying “May I Bring Them in? ” To be polite they must say yes. By playing on their good nature he is controlling the conversation and getting his point across slowly without panicking his friends. After this Owen takes up his father’s game he uses flattery to keep control of this game and his audience and to introduce his point slowly whilst not being direct in what is happening to Baile Beag.
He uses flattery as one way of controlling the conversation, another is to play his fathers game. To me I feel that Owen is the elder son rather than Manus as he has left the village in search of work and money and is offering to go to the pub and get drunk with Hugh. Whereas Manus is left to go get the tea and bread, more like a servant than a son. Hugh definitely has more respect for Owen than Manus and this is clearly shown, as Hugh get very emotional on the arrival of Owen. Owen I feel is manipulative in his character and needs to be the centre of attention all of the time.