The Highland Folk

A croft in the Scottish Highlands and the people that live in it sat outside

The plight of the people and their misfortune at the hands of the ruling classes is detailed throughout. It is certainly their story being told, however, they do not always take centre stage in the play.

As part of McGrath’s satire, the characters representing the Highland folk remain largely anonymous:

  • The Gaelic Singer
  • Girls
  • Young Highlander
  • First Woman
  • Second Woman
  • Old Man
  • Sturdy Highlander

This is in direct contrast to the characters representing the affluent or ruling class. Characters such as Lady Phosphate, Texas Jim, Queen Victoria, Patrick Sellar and Andy McChuckemup are presented as specific, if broad, characters.

By using anonymous ‘types’ to represent the Highland Folk, McGrath draws attention to the seeming indifference of those colonising the land to those common folk who were being colonised.

What is apparent is that the Highland characters are enduringly dignified and principled throughout. In contrast, the other characters seem ever more crooked and amoral.