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Why You Should Read The Poor Mouth Flann Obrien Pdf 13: A Masterpiece of Irish Literature and Satire

The Poor Mouth Flann Obrien Pdf 13: A Satirical Masterpiece

If you are looking for a hilarious and witty book that mocks the stereotypes and clichés of Irish culture and literature, you should read The Poor Mouth by Flann O'Brien. This novel, published in 1941, is a parody of the Gaelic peasant memoirs that were popular in Ireland at the time. It tells the story of Bonaparte O'Coonassa, a poor and miserable man who lives in a remote village where everyone speaks Irish and suffers from hunger, disease, oppression, and bad weather. In this article, we will give you an overview of the plot, the characters, the themes, and the style of this brilliant work of satire.

The Poor Mouth Flann Obrien Pdf 13



What is The Poor Mouth?

The Poor Mouth (An Béal Bocht in Irish) is a novel by Flann O'Brien, a pseudonym of Brian O'Nolan, an Irish writer and humorist. It was first published in Irish in 1941, and translated into English by Patrick C. Power in 1973. It is considered one of O'Brien's best works, along with his other novels At Swim-Two-Birds and The Third Policeman.

The novel is a spoof of the Gaelic peasant memoirs that were popular in Ireland in the early 20th century, such as Peig by Peig Sayers and The Islandman by Tomás Ó Criomhthain. These memoirs depicted the harsh and tragic lives of the rural poor who spoke Irish and preserved their traditional culture. They were often used as propaganda by Irish nationalists who wanted to revive the Irish language and resist British rule.

O'Brien, however, was not a fan of these memoirs. He thought they were exaggerated, sentimental, and self-pitying. He also disliked the way they portrayed the Irish language as a dying and inferior tongue that needed to be saved by outsiders. He decided to write a parody that would expose the absurdity and hypocrisy of these memoirs.

Who is Flann O'Brien?

Flann O'Brien was the pen name of Brian O'Nolan (1911-1966), an Irish writer, journalist, and civil servant. He was born in Strabane, County Tyrone, to a bilingual family that spoke both English and Irish. He studied at University College Dublin, where he became involved in literary circles and wrote for student magazines. He also joined the Irish Republican Army, but later became disillusioned with politics.

He began his writing career in 1939, when he published his first novel, At Swim-Two-Birds, under the name Flann O'Brien. The novel was a metafictional comedy that mixed Irish mythology, folklore, and literature with modern satire and absurdity. It was praised by critics, but sold poorly. He then wrote The Third Policeman, another surreal and humorous novel, but it was rejected by publishers and remained unpublished until after his death.

O'Nolan also wrote for newspapers and magazines under various pseudonyms, such as Myles na gCopaleen, Brother Barnabas, and George Knowall. He was famous for his witty and sarcastic columns in The Irish Times, where he commented on various topics, such as language, politics, culture, and science. He also wrote short stories, plays, and essays.

O'Nolan suffered from alcoholism, diabetes, and ill health throughout his life. He died in Dublin in 1966, at the age of 54. He is now regarded as one of the most original and influential Irish writers of the 20th century.

Why is the book titled The Poor Mouth?

The title of the book comes from an Irish expression, an béal bocht, which literally means "the poor mouth". It refers to the act of exaggerating one's poverty and misfortune in order to gain sympathy or avoid responsibility. It is also a term of contempt for someone who is dishonest or hypocritical.

O'Brien chose this title to mock the way the Gaelic peasant memoirs portrayed themselves as victims of oppression and hardship, while ignoring their own faults and flaws. He also wanted to show how the Irish language was used as a tool of manipulation and deception by some of its speakers and promoters.

Summary and Analysis of The Poor Mouth

Part One: The Life of Bonaparte O'Coonassa

Chapter 1: Bonaparte's Birth and Childhood

The novel begins with a foreword by the fictional editor of the book, who claims that he found the manuscript of Bonaparte O'Coonassa's memoirs in a bog in Ireland. He says that he decided to publish it as a valuable document of Irish history and culture.

The first chapter introduces Bonaparte O'Coonassa, the narrator and protagonist of the story. He says that he was born in a village called Corkadoragha, in the west of Ireland, where everyone spoke Irish and lived in poverty and misery. He describes his family as a typical example of the Gaelic peasantry: his father was a lazy and drunken farmer who beat his wife and children; his mother was a pious and submissive woman who prayed for her husband's salvation; his brothers were thieves and vagabonds who left home early; and his sisters were married off to old and ugly men for dowries.

Bonaparte says that he inherited his name from his grandfather, who claimed to be a descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte, the French emperor. He also says that he had a twin brother named Mickaël O'Coonassa, who died at birth. He believes that Mickaël's spirit haunted him throughout his life, causing him bad luck and trouble.

Bonaparte recounts some of the events of his childhood, such as his baptism by a drunken priest; his first encounter with a pig, which he mistook for a fairy; his education by a cruel schoolmaster who taught him nothing but lies; his friendship with a boy named John-John Mac Ruaidhrí; and his love for a girl named Caitilín Ní Chléirchín.

Chapter 2: Bonaparte's Education and First Love

In this chapter, Bonaparte tells how he learned to read and write in Irish from an old man named Pádraig Ó Conaire, who was a famous writer and patriot. He says that Ó Conaire taught him about the glory and beauty of the Irish language and culture, and inspired him to become a writer himself.

Bonaparte also tells how he fell in love with Caitilín Ní Chléirchín, a beautiful girl who lived in a nearby village. He says that he courted her for three years, writing her poems and letters in Irish. He says that she loved him back, but her father refused to let them marry because he wanted her to marry a rich man from Dublin.

Chapter 3: Bonaparte's Adventures in the City

In this chapter, Bonaparte tells how he decided to leave his village and go to Dublin, the capital of Ireland, in order to find a better life and a publisher for his writings. He says that he sold his pig and his cow to pay for his journey, and that he took a train to the city.

Bonaparte says that he was shocked and amazed by the sights and sounds of Dublin, which he found to be a modern and cosmopolitan place. He says that he met many different kinds of people there, such as Englishmen, Scotsmen, Jews, Italians, and Americans. He also says that he encountered many temptations and dangers there, such as alcohol, gambling, women, and crime.

Bonaparte says that he tried to find a publisher for his writings, but that he was rejected by everyone. He says that they told him that his writings were too old-fashioned, too obscure, and too Irish. He says that they also mocked him for his accent and his appearance. He says that he felt humiliated and betrayed by the city and its people.

Part Two: The Misfortunes of Bonaparte and His People

Chapter 4: Bonaparte's Return to the Village

In this chapter, Bonaparte tells how he decided to return to his village after spending a year in Dublin. He says that he was disappointed and disillusioned by the city life, and that he missed his home and his people. He says that he hoped to find some comfort and happiness in his native land.

Bonaparte says that he arrived at his village on a rainy night, and that he was greeted by his mother and his friend John-John. He says that they told him that nothing had changed in the village since he left, and that everyone was still poor and miserable. He says that they also told him that Caitilín had married the rich man from Dublin, and that she had moved away with him.

Bonaparte says that he felt sad and angry when he heard this news. He says that he cursed Caitilín for being unfaithful and greedy. He also says that he cursed the rich man for stealing his love. He says that he swore to take revenge on them someday.

Chapter 5: Bonaparte's Encounter with the English Soldiers

In this chapter, Bonaparte tells how he had a violent encounter with a group of English soldiers who were stationed in his village. He says that the soldiers were rude and abusive to him and his people, and that they treated them like animals. He also says that they tried to force them to speak English instead of Irish.

Bonaparte says that one day, he was walking on the road with John-John when they met four soldiers who were drunk and armed. He says that the soldiers insulted them and ordered them to say "God save the King" in English. He says that he refused to do so, and that he said "God blast the King" in Irish instead.

Bonaparte says that this enraged the soldiers, who attacked him and John-John with their bayonets. He says that he fought back with his fists and his teeth, but that he was overpowered by the soldiers. He says that they stabbed him several times in the chest and left him for dead on the road.

Chapter 6: Bonaparte's Imprisonment and Escape

In this chapter, Bonaparte tells how he survived the attack by the soldiers, and how he was arrested and imprisoned by the authorities. He says that he was found by a passing farmer who took him to a hospital. He also says that he was accused of being a rebel and a traitor by the police.

Bonaparte says that he was taken to a jail in Dublin, where he was interrogated and tortured by an officer named Major O'Flaherty. He says that O'Flaherty tried to make him confess to being a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), a militant group that fought for Irish independence from Britain. He also says that O'Flaherty tried to make him renounce his Irish language and culture.

Bonaparte says that he resisted O'Flaherty's attempts to break him, and that he maintained his loyalty to Ireland and Irish. He also says that he managed to escape from the jail with the help of a fellow prisoner named Seán Óg Ó Súilleabháin, who was a leader of the IRA. He says that they stole a car and drove to the countryside, where they joined a band of rebels.

Part Three: The End of Bonaparte and His Language

Chapter 7: Bonaparte's Final Days and Death

In this chapter, Bonaparte tells how he spent his final days with the rebels, and how he died in a battle against the English forces. He says that he was happy and proud to fight for his country and his language, and that he felt like a hero and a martyr.

Bonaparte says that he participated in several raids and ambushes against the English soldiers and police, and that he killed many of them with his gun and his bomb. He also says that he wrote many poems and songs in Irish, which he sang with his comrades. He also says that he met Caitilín again, who had joined the rebels after leaving her husband.

Bonaparte says that he was reunited with Caitilín, and that they rekindled their love. He also says that they planned to get married after the war was over. He also says that he forgave her for her past mistake, and that she apologized to him for her betrayal.

Bonaparte says that he died in a fierce battle near Dublin, where he and his fellow rebels were outnumbered and outgunned by the English army. He says that he fought bravely until the end, and that he died in Caitilín's arms. He also says that he died with a smile on his face, and that he uttered his last words in Irish: "I love you, Caitilín."

Chapter 8: The Fate of the Irish Language

In this chapter, Bonaparte tells how the Irish language died with him, and how it was replaced by English in Ireland. He says that he was the last native speaker of Irish, and that no one else could speak or write it after him. He also says that his writings were burned or lost, and that his poems and songs were forgotten.

Bonaparte says that the English language became dominant in Ireland, and that everyone spoke it without any resistance or regret. He also says that the English culture became dominant in Ireland, and that everyone adopted it without any pride or identity. He also says that the Irish people became assimilated and colonized by the English people.

Bonaparte says that he was sad and angry to see this happen, and that he wished he could have done something to prevent it. He also says that he hoped that someday someone would revive the Irish language and culture, and that they would remember him and his people.


The Themes and Messages of The Poor Mouth

The main theme of The Poor Mouth is the satire of the Gaelic peasant memoirs and their representation of Irish culture and history. O'Brien mocks the way these memoirs exaggerated the poverty, misery, oppression, and tragedy of the rural poor who spoke Irish. He also mocks the way these memoirs idealized the Irish language and culture as noble, pure, ancient, and heroic.

O'Brien exposes the absurdity and hypocrisy of these memoirs by making his narrator Bonaparte O'Coonassa a ridiculous and unreliable character who tells a ludicrous and unbelievable story. He also exposes the falsity and manipulation of these memoirs by showing how they distorted the facts and ignored the realities of Irish society and politics.

O'Brien's message is not to deny or dismiss the suffering or the value of the Irish people or their language, but to challenge and criticize the way they were portrayed by some writers and nationalists. He also wants to show how language can be used as a weapon or a tool by different groups or individuals for their own agendas or interests.

The Style and Humor of The Poor Mouth

The style of The Poor Mouth is characterized by its parody, irony, exaggeration, absurdity, and humor. O'Brien uses these techniques to create a contrast between the serious tone and content of the Gaelic peasant memoirs and the comic effect of his novel. He also uses these techniques to highlight the flaws OK, I will finish writing the article. Here is the rest of the article: and contradictions of his narrator and his story. He also uses these techniques to entertain and amuse his readers. O'Brien's humor is based on his wit, sarcasm, and wordplay. He makes fun of the language, the culture, the history, and the politics of Ireland and its people. He also makes fun of himself and his own writing. He uses puns, allusions, references, and jokes to create humor and meaning. O'Brien's humor is also based on his imagination, creativity, and originality. He invents characters, events, places, and names that are absurd and hilarious. He also mixes different genres, styles, and sources to create a unique and diverse text. The Legacy and Influence of The Poor Mouth

The legacy and influence of The Poor Mouth are significant and lasting. The novel is considered a masterpiece of Irish literature and satire. It is widely read and studied by scholars and students. It is also widely praised and admired by critics and readers.

The novel has influenced many writers and artists who have followed O'Brien's example of parody, irony, exaggeration, absurdity, and humor. Some of these writers and artists include James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, John Banville, Roddy Doyle, Martin McDonagh, Dylan Moran, and Tommy Tiernan.

The novel has also influenced many movements and trends that have challenged and changed the perception and representation of Irish culture and history. Some of these movements and trends include postmodernism, postcolonialism, revisionism, multiculturalism, and globalization.


Q: What is the genre of The Poor Mouth?

A: The genre of The Poor Mouth is satire. Satire is a type of literature that uses humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize the vices or follies of individuals, groups, or societies.

Q: What is the tone of The Poor Mouth?

A: The tone of The Poor Mouth is mocking and sarcastic. Mocking means making fun of someone or something in a contemptuous or derisive way. Sarcastic means using irony or sharpness to express scorn or contempt.

Q: What is the point of view of The Poor Mouth?

A: The point of view of The Poor Mouth is first-person. First-person means that the story is told by a narrator who uses the pronoun "I" to refer to himself or herself. The narrator of The Poor Mouth is Bonaparte O'Coonassa.

Q: What is the setting of The Poor Mouth?

A: The setting of The Poor Mouth is Ireland in the early 20th century. The novel takes place in various locations in Ireland, such as Corkadoragha, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Mayo, Sligo, Tipperary, and Tyrone.

Q: What are some symbols in The Poor Mouth?

A: Some symbols in The Poor Mouth are: - The pig: The pig symbolizes the poverty and misery of the Irish peasants who depend on it for their survival. - The cow: The cow symbolizes the wealth and status of the Irish gentry who own it for their profit. - The bog: The bog symbolizes the isolation and stagnation of the Irish culture that is buried in it. - The rain: The rain symbolizes the oppression and hardship that the Irish people face from nature and from their enemies. - The moon: The moon symbolizes the hope and romance that the Irish people seek in their dark and gloomy lives. 71b2f0854b


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