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Manus is the son of Hugh, brother of Owen and a teacher at the hedge school. * At first there is a great contrast between the brothers, however, as the play progresses it is apparent that they have adopted each others characteristics. Manus has strong views on the re naming of Irish towns but they are very different to those belonging to Owen. Manus is angry with the English belief that the Irish town names are “incorrect” whereas Owen considers it to be “only a name”
Manus is described as having a “zeal” for teaching and this supported by his relationship with Sarah. It is clear that Sarah has deeper feelings for Manus than a regular teacher and student relationship. “She smiles in shy, embarrassed pleasure. ” (P. 3). Manus also appears to truly care for Sarah and it is debatable whether one of Manus’ reasons for leaving the hedge school was because he did not want his feelings for Sarah to progress.
At the beginning of the play a relationship between Manus and Maire is indicated. As the play progresses this relationship deteriorates as Maire and Yolland (an English man) fall in love. When Manus finds out about this relationship he is severely hurt and this leads to him leaving the town of Baile Beag and running away from his problems. * There are many examples throughout the play when Manus makes sacrifices for the people from the people within the hedge school.
One such example is when his father Hugh applies for a new job at the national school. Manus feels he can not apply (even though he would probably be better suited for the job) as he will be going against his father’s wishes. This angers Maire as Manus promised her he would go for the job. This is one of the first apparent signs of a strain being put on their relationship, which would eventually lead to its downfall. Words that describe Manus: optimist, kind, considerate, encouraging.