Over the course of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, Paddy’s life changes significantly as he grows up, sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. This effects Paddy’s anecdotes and the way he tells them or perceives information. As Paddy’s world changes, the reader becomes more challenged and finds that they need to read between the lines to understand the story. Paddy Clarke is a nai?? ve 10 year old school boy who only sees the world through his immature eyes. He tells things you wouldn’t normally tell, unless you were a 10 year old school boy. “He dirtied his trousers one day” this shows that Paddy finds this very amusing..
Doyle writes these childish things as Paddy, for the reason that childish narrative makes Paddy more interesting and believable. Another example of this is when Paddy pretends to be in a war when he’s only getting his jumper: “I made a noise like bombs exploding as I grabbed the jumper off the bricks”. Paddy’s anecdotes seem to be randomly arranged, as some, like the table fort story, are way back in Paddy’s past and these are mixed with newer stories, which confuses the reader as you can never tell the plan of events, this leads to confusion, so the reader must read beyond the words to determine what Paddy means.
You usually can’t tell which stories are more recent and which ones aren’t because of the amount of detail Paddy puts into them. Paddy helps the reader by describing certain things that are linked with time, such as “That was before my mother had Cathy or Deirdre”. Even though this is so far back in Paddy’s past, Paddy still adds a lot of detail, such as “The lino has tiny cracks that got bigger if you pressed them” Paddy remembers this information very well, but Paddy does not entirely understand why.
In the Pipe anecdote you can tell it is more recent as “it was coming up to Easter”. Paddy tells his stories in this random way because he seems to be trying to tell us a main story but gets sidetracked by little details, this causes him to branch off into a different story. This is shown best in how Paddy begins in telling us stories that he deems fun, but slowly, he grows up and understands more of what is going on around him so he starts telling us different stories about his parents such as his parents fighting and being worried about his parent’s love for each other.
This makes the reader feel sorry for Paddy and it creates a sense of foreboding as it makes the reader want to know what happens with his parents. Doyle is very smart in presenting Paddy’s world in this way as it keeps the reader interested and eager to read on. Paddy has a very small world. This world begins to grow and expand as the book progresses. Unfortunately, Paddy’s world begins to break as it expands, with his parents fighting and people close to him dieing.
An example of his world expanding is how Paddy makes his own heaven when talking about Granda Clarke. “Four million years for Football Monthly [… ] If you made a good confession right before you died you didn’t have to go to Purgatory at all” and “There were no animals in heaven, only horses and zebras and small monkeys” are examples of how Paddy invents different ways to hide his true feelings from himself. Paddy is slowly becoming more aware of what is happening, for example; the new car story is a very depressing story and Paddy’s mum almost leaves Paddy’s dad.
Paddy can tell that they’re fighting as he says “Something had happened; something” which show us he is thinking about what has happened between his parents to make his mum leave the car in the rain. Paddy tries to figure out what was happening in the front seats of his car “Has she gone for 99s? “. As we have seen throughout the book, Paddy uses violence to relieve himself of his feelings and Sinbad is usually the target, so after the incident in the car, Paddy takes it out on him. Paddy makes up for his bad feelings by telling facts and things he knows are true. “Snails and slugs are gastropods” is an example.
Paddy is upset that he does not understand what is going wrong so he reassures himself with hard facts, where his parent’s love, is not a hard fact. Doyle creates Paddy’s world in a variety of ways, from oddly arranged anecdotes to Paddy’s world being shaped. The way Doyle writes through the eyes of a 10 year old, not as an adult looking back on his childhood, adds a different effect as you can see the world through unbiased eyes, it also gives you a different perspective on the people in the book as they are described by a young boy who knows very little about the world outside of his life.