"When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable child hood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood Is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood", writes Frank McCourt of his early life. Although Frank McCourt's autobiography, Angela's Ashes, paints a picture of both terrible poverty and struggles, this text is appealing and up lifting because of its focus on both humor and hope. McCourt's text shows the determination people living in dreadful conditions must have in order to rise above their situations and make better lives for themselves and their families. The effect of the story, although often distressing and sad, is not depressing. Frank as the young narrator describes his life events without bitterness, anger, or blame. Poverty and hardship are treated simply as if they are a fact of life, and in spite of the hard circumstances, many episodes during the novel are hilarious.
The Millers appear to be permissive parents; therefore, the Millers seem to support Kevin in his behavior and his maladaptive ways of coping. Permissive parents are high on warm; subsequently, they are low in setting demands, rules, and guidelines. Kevin is obliviously gifted and talented, and
The characterization of Cato and Emerson’s stepmother and father is what lead to the parental neglect on the two brothers. In the short story, “The Farmer’s Children,” the stepmother is characterized as
Angela’s Ashes is a moving book full of poverty, suffering, and death that shows that no matter how difficult things seem, the hard tines can always be overcome. Angela and Malachy McCourt, both Irish, were married in America after a passionate night together that ended up producing their first son, Francis(or Frank as introduced to the reader). Later, the couple had another son, twins, and a daughter while living in a small apartment in New York. Margaret soon died and the family moved to Ireland where their lives were only worsened. Angela had two more children that lived, but the young twins died. Malachy was an alcoholic who rarely held a job and spent his wages at the pub instead of on his family. They were forced to beg for food and other necessities because relatives were cruel and selfish. This novel tells the tell of young Frank having to endure extreme poverty, starvation, and a broken family with strength and courage. He eventually raises enough money to go to America and break free from his depressing childhood.
Ireland is described as, “Poverty; the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying schoolmasters; the English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long year” (9). The family lived in poor and life threatening conditions. Eleven families shared one lavatory which was closest to the McCourt family door. The lavatory is never cleaned and can kill them from all the diseases (112-113). Although the conditions were bad they couldn’t move it was the cheapest and most affordable place they could find for six shillings a week. Malachy Sr. suggest they clean the lavatory themselves but they can’t afford coal and he is too prideful to pick it up off of the road (69). The McCourt’s couldn’t afford safe food, Malachy and Frank had to resort to filling the twin's bottles with water and sugar, and sometimes with stale bread, and sour milk
The love one has for their family causes one to do anything to keep them out of harm, including taking the role of mother/father. Henry Lawson creates an image in his readers’ mind of the protagonist and all that she does for her
Boylan and her wife wanted to make it very clear to their children what their father was planning to become. Surprisingly the children took the news very well, insisting that they call their father, “Maddy” rather than, “Daddy.” Although Boylan has a very unconventional family, they are still a strong family nonetheless. Her children were allowed to express themselves however they chose and turned into two very well rounded individuals, which can be said is better than what some children in a conventional home setting have grown up with. Boylan is also another example of how the idea of family has evolved in America, no longer does a family consist of a mother, father, two children, and a dog, but rather a myriad of different genders, ethnicities, and religions.
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.
After a decade of not seeing his mother and brother, Howard returns to his hometown in Mississippi. It is evident how thrilled he is. As the train approaches town, he begins “to feel curious little movements of the heart, like a lover as he nears his sweetheart” (par. 3). He expects this visit to be a marvelous and welcoming homecoming. His career and travel have kept his schedule extremely full, causing him to previously postpone this trip to visit his family. Although he does not immediately recognize his behavior in the past ten years as neglectful, there are many factors that make him aware of it. For instance, Mrs. McLane, Howard’s mother, has aged tremendously since he last saw her. She has “grown unable to write” (par. 72). Her declining health condition is an indicator of Howard’s inattentiveness to his family; he has not been present to see her become ill. His neglect strikes him harder when he sees “a gray –haired woman” that showed “sorrow, resignation, and a sort of dumb despair in her attitude” (par. 91). Clearly, she is growing old, and Howard feels guilty for not attending her needs for such a long time period: “his throat [aches] with remorse and pity” (par. 439). He has been too occupied with his “excited and pleasurable life” that he has “neglected her” (par. 92). Another indication of Howard’s neglect is the fact that his family no longer owns the farm and house where he grew up. They now reside in a poorly conditioned home:
Ella's health began to deteriorate. Lacking rent money, she and her sons were forced to move several times. A paralytic stroke disabled her, so Richard was forced to write to his grandmother for help. Ella's siblings gave what help they could, but none of them could take on the responsibility for both of her children. Richard's grandmother took on the responsibility for caring for Ella.