The Plough and the Stars Nora Clitheroe Character Analysis Sample Answer
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Table of Contents
Nora is the central character in the play – everything that happens turns directly or indirectly on her. She is the person with the most insight into what life should be like and where its dangers lie; she is all for life and is primarily the victim of forces outside her control. She realises that the nationalist adventures are divorced from the real needs of the people and that people are more important than idealist abstractions. Nora realises that happiness is a concrete thing that has to do with human harmony and fulfilment. To do this, she is protective of Jack; she is determined to maintain a happy marriage and rise above the social level of the tenement building.
In Act 1 we are given a glimpse of this domestic happiness with ominous undertones of fated disaster. She insists on a strict set of rules for her lodgers, Peter and The Covey, and is quick to tell them that they are tearing down "the little bit of respectability that a body’s tryin’ to build". The marriage of Jack and Nora demonstrates the impoverishment of the husband-wife relationship in their working class society. Jack is the traditional husband whose life is not ruled totally by his marriage – a reality which Nora finds hard to accept: "Oh yes, your little red-lipped Nora’s a sweet little girl when the fit seizes you; but your little red-lipped Nora has to clean your boots every morning, all the same".