Bridget

Bridget Devlin is Hughie’s sister. She has a loving relationship with Franco and mourns him after his death.

Bridget’s character is:

  • Loving
  • Resilient
  • Supportive

Loving

Bridget is in love with Franco. She says to Rosinella But I love Franco, Mrs Predreschi. I need him.

But she is reluctant to have a physical relationship with him as it is deemed inappropriate in society. This shows her to be a moral and principled character.

The threat of war leads her to pursue a physical relationship with Franco.

Her love for him remains strong throughout the play. Even after Franco’s death, Bridget refuses to get involved with other men. Her loyalty to Franco results in her being left on the shelf. When she talks to Hughie at the wedding it is clear that she could be referring to herself.

quote
Would you really want to go through life, loving the one person you can’t have, rather than looking for someone that might make you happy?

Resilient

Despite the loss Bridget experiences, she carries on with her life.

Bridget is uncomplaining about being left on the shelf. Although she mourns for Franco, she is resigned to a single life.

And although Rosinella has caused her great pain, she does not openly complain. It is only when she tries to help Hughie, and when pushed by Rosinella, that she reveals that she underwent a traumatic abortion. She has never told another living soul. Instead she has kept her pain hidden and put on a brave face.

Supportive

When Bridget's father dies, she takes on responsibility for her family. She is the oldest child and her mother is unable to cope through her grief. I’d just lost my da and my mammy was leaning on me. Bridget has become the parent figure of the family, replacing her father. Is her job as a bus conductress supporting her family?

When Franco dies, Bridget's focus shifts to helping Hughie. At first she suggests that he goes out more -

quote
You should be going to the dancing. Get yourself a girlfriend.

She doesn't want him to be alone like she is.

She discourages Hughie from attempting a relationship with Lucia - she fears it will not work and that he will be hurt. But when she realises how much he loves Lucia, she does all she can to help him. Bridget is even willing to comfront Rosinella, and reveal that she has had an abortion, to help Hughie.

The fact that she is willing to expose what she has done (something considered legally, socially and morally unacceptable at the time) in this way, shows how supportive she is to her brother.