Translations

by

Brian Friel

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An “open-minded, open-hearted” student at the Baile Beag hedge school in his twenties, who arrives to class with Bridget. In one of the play’s first suggestions of Irish resentment towards the British, Doalty tells Manus during class that he enjoys moving the Red Coats’ surveyor poles around to confuse them and suggests a “presence”—his means of asserting his Irish identity in the face of colonialism. Despite this resentment, Doalty ultimately tells Owen that he thought Yolland to be a decent man and insists he had nothing to do with his disappearance. He does, however, suggest that he might know the whereabouts of the Donnelly twins, who are implied to be responsible.

Doalty Quotes in Translations

The Translations quotes below are all either spoken by Doalty or refer to Doalty. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
All Translation Is Interpretation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Farrar, Straus and Giroux edition of Translations published in 1995.
Act 1 Quotes

Bridget: Did you know that you start at the age of six and you have to stick at it until you're twelve at least — no matter how smart you are or how much you know.

Doalty: Who told you that yarn?

Bridget: And every child from every house has to go all day, every day, summer or winter. That's the law.

Doalty: I'll tell you something — nobody's going to go near them — they're not going to take on — law or no law.

Bridget: And everything's free in them. You pay for nothing except the books you use […] And from the very first day you go, you'll not hear one word of Irish spoken. You'll be taught to speak English and every subject will be taught through English and everyone'll end up as cute as the Buncrana people.

Related Characters: Doalty (speaker), Bridget (speaker), Manus
Page Number: 19
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Translations LitChart as a printable PDF.
Translations PDF

Doalty Character Timeline in Translations

The timeline below shows where the character Doalty appears in Translations. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1
All Translation Is Interpretation Theme Icon
Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism Theme Icon
Doalty and Bridget, two students in their twenties, enter noisily. Doalty carries a surveyor’s pole and... (full context)
Language, Culture, and Identity Theme Icon
Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism Theme Icon
...begins to answer before commenting on the squeakiness of her slate. She practices writing while Doalty works on multiplication. (full context)
Language, Culture, and Identity Theme Icon
Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism Theme Icon
...that people don’t have to pay for anything except their books. This seems outrageous to Doalty. Bridget adds that all lessons will also be taught in English. (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
The Limits of Language Theme Icon
 Doalty rushes in looking for Manus. He asks Yolland how he is; Yolland attempts to thank... (full context)
Act 3
All Translation Is Interpretation Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Identity Theme Icon
Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism Theme Icon
...is. She mimes rocking a baby, but Owen does not understand the gesture. Bridget and Doalty enter loudly and say that fifty more soldiers have arrived and are looking around extremely... (full context)
Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism Theme Icon
Owen asks Bridget and Doalty if they saw Yolland and Maire leave the dance together. They confirm that they did,... (full context)
All Translation Is Interpretation Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Identity Theme Icon
Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism Theme Icon
Doalty agrees with Owen that Manus was a fool to leave and that the army will... (full context)
Language, Culture, and Identity Theme Icon
Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism Theme Icon
...to tell him her name. She tries frantically but cannot, so Owen answers for her. Doalty looks out the window and calmly says that Lancey’s camp is on fire. Lancey asks... (full context)
Colonialism and Cultural Imperialism Theme Icon
Doalty says “they” did the same thing when his grandfather was young, and laments how Owen... (full context)
All Translation Is Interpretation Theme Icon
Language, Culture, and Identity Theme Icon
...continue to renew those image or risk becoming fossilized. As Owen leaves to look for Doalty, Hugh tells him that it is “a form of madness” to remember everything. (full context)