All Souls: A Family Story From Southie by Michael Patrick MacDonald Essay

All Souls: A Family Story From Southie by Michael Patrick MacDonald Essay

Length: 966 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

All Souls: A Family Story From Southie by Michael Patrick MacDonald

By Micheal Patrick MacDonald. (Ballentine Books under The Random House Publishing Corporation, 1999, 266pp. $14.00)

Michael Patrick MacDonald saw hatred animated on a Friday in the early days of October. Some people were reading the newspaper in brightly lit kitchens. Some children were coloring with brightly hued crayons. Some fathers were getting into cars in front of their beautiful homes. But there were no crayons, bright kitchens, or fathers in nice cars on Dorchester Street in Southie that day. Only the cruelest manifestation of blind hatred. Michael Patrick MacDonald was an innocent child when he stood only feet away from a black man who was having the life literally beaten from his body, one kick, one punch, one rock at a time.
"I remember the man's tears clearing paths in the blood on his face."

Michael Patrick MacDonald lived a frightening life. To turn the book over and read the back cover, one might picture a decidedly idyllic existence. At times frightening, at times splendid, but always full of love. But to open this book is to open the door to Southie's ugly truth, to MacDonald's ugly truth, to take it in for all it's worth, to draw our own conclusions. One boy's hell is another boy's playground. Ma MacDonald is a palm tree in a hurricane, bending and swaying in the violent winds of Southie's interior, even as things are flying at her head, she crouches down to protect her children, to keep them out of harms way. We grew up watching Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow and Peanuts. Michael Patrick MacDonald grew up watching violence, sadness and death.

MacDonald recalls Southie quite like an adult might describe his abusive father. He...


... middle of paper ...


...ing to the light of day. Michael Patrick MacDonald wants to share with us his Southie. Right or wrong, biased or objective, it was his life. He lived it, he survived it, and he has decided to recapture it for the greater good of all of the residents of every Old Colony Project, for all of the Davey's and the Ma MacDonalds, for every kid who cries at night about things a kid should never cry about. Fiction is subject to criticism of a structured sort. But this is someone's life. Balanced or not, this is what happened. Conclusions don't change the outcome. Full coverage of the subject won't bring Frankie back. Formulaic critiques won't change the fact that Moe Duggan stabbed his two sons. This book isn't really a book at all. It's a door. A door to a life. A life we can live right along with the MacDonald clan, from the safety of our warm, cozy, roach free living rooms.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on All Souls by Michael MacDonald

- Michael MacDonald’S All Souls is a heart wrenching insider account of growing up in Old Country housing projects located in the south of Boston, also known as Southie to the locals. The memoir takes the reader deep inside the world of Southie through the eyes of MacDonald. MacDonald was one of 11 children to grow up and deal with the many tribulations of Southie, Boston. Southie is characterized by high levels of crime, racism, and violence; all things that fall under the category of social problem....   [tags: growing up in Old Country housing projects]

Strong Essays
1876 words (5.4 pages)

All Souls By Michael Patrick Macdonald Essay

- Despite the adversity that plagued the children of South Boston throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Southie native Michael Patrick MacDonald often remarked that he grew up in “the best place in the world,” suggesting that while adversity can be crippling, it does not guarantee a bad life. Throughout his childhood, MacDonald and his family suffered from extreme poverty, experienced the effects of drugs on the family structure, and felt the poor educational effects in a struggling neighborhood. Through his memoir, All Souls, readers gain an in-depth perspective of Michael Patrick MacDonald’s life, especially his childhood....   [tags: Poverty, Poverty threshold, Drug addiction, Boston]

Strong Essays
1621 words (4.6 pages)

George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin Essays

- George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin In his novel The Princess and the Goblin, George MacDonald has cleverly crafted an underground society populated by a distorted and "ludicrously grotesque" race. Within the body of his tale, he reveals that these people are descended from humans, and did in fact, once upon a time, live upon the surface themselves. Only eons of living separated from fresh air and sunlight have caused them to evolve into the misshapen creatures we meet in this story (MacDonald, 2-4)....   [tags: MacDonald Princess Goblin Essays]

Free Essays
1318 words (3.8 pages)

George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin Essays

- George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin All over the world people have believed in a race of creatures, superhuman and subhuman, that are not gods or ghosts, but differ from humans in their powers, properties, and attributes (Briggs, Vanishing 27). The concepts of these creatures/fairies have been passed down through generations in many cultures through forms such as songs, sayings, and stories. Stories such as folktales and myths have wide array of fairy types found in them from various cultures' folklores (Abrams 101)....   [tags: MacDonald Princess Goblin essays]

Free Essays
1667 words (4.8 pages)

George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin Essays

- George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin The moon has been worshipped as a female deity since the beginning of time. Not only is the moon a feminine principle, it is also a symbol of transformation due to its own monthly cycle of change. With this in mind, it is clear upon a close reading of The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald that the grandmother figure is a personification of the moon, and as such is a catalyzing agent for Irene's maturation and transformation through the course of the novel....   [tags: MacDonald Princess Goblin Essays]

Free Essays
1170 words (3.3 pages)

MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin Essays

- MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin The Princess and the Goblin is a story about self-realisation and the expansion of limits. The princess, Irene, is able to come to certain conclusions about herself with the help of her grandmother, who lives in the attic upstairs in the palace. The grandmother guides Irene through her rite of passage into adulthood, and helps to bring the princess and Curdie together in the end. However, the reader never really knows whether the grandmother even exists, and it is this uncertainty that causes the reader to question whether she is a personification of a force within Irene that is driving her to achieve all that she does....   [tags: MacDonald Princess Goblin Essays]

Strong Essays
1231 words (3.5 pages)

Essay George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin

- George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin Like many other renowned novels aimed at children, George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin draws extensively from the folk tradition in his telling of the tale. Many of the figures presented, such as the nurse and Curdie, have precedent in the tradition, but the grandmother in particular stands out. Archetypally, she is a variant on the Old Man, though she bears the undeniable touch of the supernatural as seen in common folklore - at times she is otherworldly and some of her actions and abilities are of the sort frequently associated with witches....   [tags: MacDonald Princess Goblin Essays]

Strong Essays
1238 words (3.5 pages)

Essay The Germanic and Celtic Tradition by George MacDonald

- The Germanic and Celtic Tradition by George MacDonald One of the most interesting things about fairytales is how the author has borrowed ideas from ancient myths and legends and kept them alive in their writings. The Princess and the Goblin is one of these fairytales. In writing this novel, George MacDonald has incorporated much of the folk tradition in his characters and plot. Specifically, his concept of goblins seem to be drawn from the tradition of dwarfs, gnomes, and kobolds of Germanic myth and the fairies, or elves, of Celtic myth....   [tags: Germanic Celtin Macdonald Fairytales Essays]

Free Essays
954 words (2.7 pages)

Digression in Nikolai Gogol's Dead Souls Essay

- Nikolai Gogol's masterpiece novel, Dead Souls, remains faithful to the Gogolian tradition in terms of absurdity, lavish detail, and abundant digressions. Although these three literary techniques coexist, interact, and augment each other-the focus of this analysis is to examine how Gogol (or the narrator) deviates from the plotline, the significance of it, and what aesthetic purpose comes from the digression. Although Gogol's marriage to elaboration is at times strenuous-in fact, it is the underlying reason why impatient readers dislike his work-it serves as a function of tone....   [tags: Nikolai Gogol Dead Souls]

Strong Essays
1712 words (4.9 pages)

Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald's Fight for Innocence Essay

- Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald's Fight for Innocence Debated as one of the most misrepresented cases in American legal history, Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald still fights for innocence. Contrary to infallible evidence, prosecution intentionally withheld crucial information aiding MacDonald’s alibi. Such ratification included proof of an outside attack that would have played a major role in Jeffrey’s case. Convicted for the murders of his wife and two kids, thirty-four years ago, Dr. MacDonald still endures the agony of being accused of killing his family....   [tags: Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald Crime Justice System Essays]

Strong Essays
1458 words (4.2 pages)