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Celtic Studies R1A
12th February 2012
The importance of peasant mind in "The Fur Coat"
Sean O'Faolain, a premier Irish short story writer, tells of an Irish middle class couple Molly and Paddy Magurie. Molly and Paddy have been married for years and were very poor for many years before Paddy finally got a promotion. After they got some financial security, Paddy promises Molly to buy her a fancy mink coat, which Molly has desired for her whole life. However, Molly has no rush to buy the coat right away, she does not want to buy some cheap fur coat nor does she want to purchase an expensive glamorous one. The story does not only foretell the lives of the Maguire's but also incorporates and exemplifies the Irish rural heritage. Paddy and Molly epitomize the lives of common Irish people, the mental life ranges from the peasant to the privileged world.
The Maguires actually represent the average life that lies between rich and poor. Molly has lost herself between the peasant's world and the privileged world and that is the reason why she could not afford to buy the fur coat that she has desired.
After Paddy got his promotion, Molly infers their change of status and expects to move up the social status ladder. However Molly refuses to get the coat which represents their social identity, because Molly doesn't want to be the person she despises. This long time married couple is now able to afford the coat and use it as a symbol of their status in society but it can also serve its intended purpose of keeping her warm. At this point, this fur coat is a necessary item for social events.
"I don't want a fur coat for...