Michael Cunningham 's White Angel Essays

Michael Cunningham 's White Angel Essays

Length: 1217 words (3.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Michael Cunningham’s “White Angel” is not merely a story about two boys growing up in a small town in Ohio in the 1960s. This is a story about the shattered innocence of America through historical events in their era, such as, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Vietnam War. The narrator of this story is nine year old boy, Bobby or “Frisco,” who symbolizes the somber reality of the history of this decade. The narrator’s point of view is strong, Frisco believes his own voice is weak and un-wise, however he shows great bravery, humility and control throughout this piece. Frisco takes risks, although they are thoughtfully calculated. He views the world with great admiration through his older, sixteen year old brother Carlton; yet is still analytical over the choices Carlton makes before his untimely death. In this piece, Carlton symbolizes the wild and free innocence of America in the 1950s. Carlton constantly takes great risks while never considering the consequences of his actions. Similar to the nation they come from, uninhibited America in the 1950s, never suspected the tempestuous historical events of the 1960s.
Frisco is, as Cunningham describes, a very criminally advanced nine year old boy (Cunningham 230). Consequently, he shadows Carlton through nefarious endeavors, such as experimenting with drugs, the promise of sex, and promiscuous music. The boys come from an unintended suburban family, the Morrows. A widowed mother from a previous marriage, and a father who is more interested in assembling a grandfather clock to leave his sons as a family heirloom, rather than spending time with his family (Cunningham 231). This clock comes from a kit and is a symbol of his investment in their ...


... middle of paper ...


...or. Their naïve mentalities led to the untimely death of a sixteen year old boy. America relates as a naïve nation before the tragic events of the 1960s, blinded by good fortune, few suspected that anything could shatter their lives.
With respect to the tragedy: “He is buried in the cemetery out back” (Cunningham 242). Carlton’s body remains at the site of the accident, as do their mother’s wails, and the party goers’ innocence. America was never the same after experiencing the heartrending events of the 1960s. A nation whose innocence always remained in the 1950s, covered up with poodle skirts and love songs. America wailed as Kennedy was assassinated, the Civil Rights Act led to grave brutality and tens of thousands of people lost their lives during the Vietnam War. Although a family or a nation may recover, no one ever forgets, and the tragedy will always remain.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Analysis Of The Movie ' White Angel ' By Michael Cunningham Essay

- Bobby, a nine year old boy, expresses his admiration for his older brother by mimicking his every move and recalling places which he shares their fondest moments. He wants to be just like his brother in every aspect. Michael Cunningham won for the “The Best American Short Stories 1989” for this short story. In his story “White Angel”, Michael Cunningham uses narrative point of view and symbolism to demonstrate an effect of having intense adoration for an influencing person in one’s life. Bobby is just a boy who like most nine year olds looks up to his older brother....   [tags: Family, Short story, Parent, Mother]

Better Essays
1059 words (3 pages)

Essay on Death In The Hours by Michael Cunningham

- The men and women of "The Hours" view death as an escape from an ordinary lifestyle which lacks anything truly extraordinary or exhilarating. Laura Brown considers death as an alternative to the constraints of her role as a mother and a wife. Both Richard Brown and Virginia Woolf ultimately commit suicide in order to escape their illnesses and their failures to live up to society's expectations. Though Laura does not end her life, she does die symbolically to her family. Over the period of a day, Laura Brown gradually succumbs to her overwhelming desire to liberate herself from her mundane life....   [tags: Cunningham Hours]

Better Essays
979 words (2.8 pages)

The Hours By Michael Cunningham Essay

- In Laura’s Brown short story “The Hours” by Michael Cunningham, Laura was living the American dream. She had a beautiful house, an amazing husband and a precious son. She had everything that any women will desired, but it wasn’t enough for her. Brown wanted more than being a housewife, she wanted to be free as Virginia Wolf who drowned herself in a river. Laura wanted to feel free but she could only accomplish that by committing suicide, which her conscience didn’t let her be. Overall, the pressure for Laura Brown was enormous because of the word perfection, it was the only obstacle interfering with Laura’s life, in which she develops Psychological struggles to please her family in many ways...   [tags: Suicide, Death, Suicide methods, Perfection]

Better Essays
1011 words (2.9 pages)

Essay about Women and the Patriarchal Society in Michael Cunningham's The Hours

- Women Pressured by the Demands of a Patriarchal Society in Michael Cunningham's The Hours In Michael Cunningham's The Hours, Laura Brown, one of the novel's protagonists, is trapped by the responsibility of being a housewife and mother. Cunningham's story uses one of Virginia Woolf's works, Mrs. Dalloway, as a template to weave the lives of three women together in a narrative delicately split into three branching tales that echo each other. One branch of the story leads to a fictional account of Virginia Woolf creating the first draft of her famous novel....   [tags: Cunningham Hours Essays]

Better Essays
1057 words (3 pages)

The Hours by Michael Cunningham Essay

- In his novel The Hours, Michael Cunningham creates a dazzling fabric of queer references managing to intertwine the lives of three different women into one smooth narrative. In this essay, I will discuss what makes The Hours queer literature, how the novel has contributed to the queer genre, the cultural significance of the novel, and I will discuss several points made in Jeanette McVicker’s critical article “Gaps and Absences in The Hours.” My aim, however, is not to say that Michael Cunningham’s The Hours is strictly a queer novel, but to highlight what makes the novel queer and to discuss Cunningham’s idea of sexual orientation as a fluid entity....   [tags: The Queer Genre]

Better Essays
1441 words (4.1 pages)

Facts and Reality in Michael Moore’s "Stupid White Men" Essay

- In Michael Moore’s introduction to the novel, Stupid White Men, Moore talks about the state of the American nation during the twenty first century. Moore believes that the nation is falling apart because it is being overrun by the “stupid white men” who are controlling it. He equates all the corruption and downfall that is occurring throughout the United States with the election of former president George W. Bush. In this introduction he covers numerous controversial issues, which range from the economy and society to politics and the environment....   [tags: Stupid White Men, Michael Moore, ]

Better Essays
986 words (2.8 pages)

Analysis Of ' Little Man ' By Michael Cunningham Essay

- In the modern twist of the well-known fairy tale, Rumplestiltskin, Michael Cunningham’s “Little Man”, retells the adventure of this two-hundred-year old gnome, through the eyes of Rumplestiltskin himself, who fell in love with a miller’s beautiful daughter which he helped do the impossible; spin straw into gold. Throughout the course of the story, a series of events occur which leads up to the destruction of Rumplestiltskin’s heart. The story’s theme is that reality is a matter of perspective. The story begins by describing the effects of desiring something which one cannot obtain – a child....   [tags: Love, Fairy tale, English-language films, Emotion]

Better Essays
726 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about Homosexuality, Suicide and Feminism in Cunningham's, The Hours

- Homosexuality, Suicide and Feminism in Cunningham's, The Hours In "Man of The Hours", an interview published in People magazine, Michael Cunningham describes The Hours as "essentially an optimistic book that deals with the terrible things that happen to people"(105). More precisely, the book is about three women living in different eras and addresses several issues, among them homosexuality, suicide, and feminism. Much Cunningham's portrayal of Virginia, who is working on her famous novel "Mrs....   [tags: Cunningham Hours Essays]

Better Essays
617 words (1.8 pages)

Essay about Cunningham's The Hours: The Mind of Virginia Wolf

- While writing a fiction novel, I would think that the writer would have to dig deep into their mind and into their heart in order for them to convey realistic emotions through their characters. This process could almost be related to hypnosis where the writer relies on his or her inner thoughts and feelings to effectively add depth to their novel's fictitious characters. In the novel Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf used a technique called stream-of-consciousness in which she attempted to write the novel in the same patterns as her brain's thought process....   [tags: Cunningham Hours Essays]

Free Essays
1950 words (5.6 pages)

Essay about Cunningham's The Hours: A Story about Life and Death

- Cunningham's The Hours: A Story about Life and Death "The Hours" by Michael Cunningham is a complicated story that explores life and death. Cunningham attempts to distinguish his writings from author Virginia Woolf's by characterizing sanity and insanity while each protagonist contemplates their own life and suicide. Each woman in The Hours wrestles tension and confusion throughout the novel giving a sense that these issues transcend time. By introducing issues of homosexuality, infidelity, and suicide the reader is invited to think of life's experiences within the context of daily life....   [tags: Cunningham Hours Essays]

Better Essays
1062 words (3 pages)