Part 3

Mr Clarke buys a new car and takes the family on a day trip to Dollymount Strand for a picnic.

But the weather is terrible and there is another tense scene between Paddy’s parents.

Paddy has memories of his youth and happier times with his parents before his sisters were born and Sinbad was still a baby.

He remembers his parents humming and singing. This is in contrast to their relationship now as we notice them arguing more as the novel progresses.

There are more scrapes with Paddy’s gang, with more violent play and injuries.

Paddy describes the large and disorganised football matches played by the boys, where “it was every man for himself”.

Ian McEvoy runs into a wire near the new Corporation - or social housing - developments and hurts himself badly.

Paddy’s friends blame the Corporation boys and Paddy describes them snootily as "Slum scum". His mother, however, does not approve of this term and is angry with him.

The boys play a game where they gives themselves swearword names after receiving a whack from Kevin’s metal poker.

Once again Kevin is in charge, but the others seem to be getting fed up with his refusal to be on the receiving end of the violence.

Part 4

Paddy is becoming increasingly aware of his parents’ marital difficulties.

He describes their fights as being “like a train that kept getting stuck at the corner tracks and you had to lean over and push it or straighten it".

He begins to rock back and forth to comfort himself when they are fighting, showing his fear and discomfort at the situation.

The gang go shoplifting but Paddy’s mother catches them. Paddy’s father punishes him by hitting him with a belt.