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The Harp in the South

             "The Harp in the South" written by Ruth Park in 1948 is a powerful, emotional novel which battles many issues faced in reality today. Being set in the dump of mid 19th century Surry Hills most of the characters in Park's novel are all victims to the cruel issues of life. All characters in Park's novel symbolize and/or relate to many issues in Park's novel. Whether the characters are big or small, they all fit into the different sized issues of reality.
             Like the area of mid 19th century Surry Hills, Hughie relates and reflects many issues in Park's novel. Not only does Hughie reflect and suffer from many of the issues in the novel but issues like Hughie's alcohol problem also create critical issues which affect other characters in the book. Issues which some characters in the novel experience because of alcoholism are issues like poverty, family relationships and sacrifice.
             Hughie is a significant character in Park's novel. Hughie is not only the father in the Darcy family, but Hughie is also the core of where the Darcy family's problems start and lay. Hughie is a character who relies on faith and hope to bring him blessings. For example when Hughie believes he wins lottery his miserable, drowned life all of a sudden turns around. Hughie only ends up drowned with disappointment with the fact that "it was just a funny coincidence." and that the coincidence of hope that he was going to shed those layers of the never ending cruelty was just a hoax sent from God.
             Hughie and his alcohol problem cause much of the dilemmas the Darcy family experience. The Darcy family sacrifice many things such as a decent living so Hughie can spend Saturday afternoon "at the pub, and Sunday afternoon sleeping off Saturday afternoon". The Darcy family choose to live like this just so Hughie can rely on booze to escape the harshness of reality which he experienced quite often. Due to Hughie's alcohol problem the family is left to live in poverty.

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