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Tis': A Memoir - Frank McCourt.

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Introduction

Tis': A Memoir Frank McCourt Tis' by the Irish born author, Frank McCourt retells his life as a young immigrant making his way in New York City. He wants to succeed in the land of opportunities however, he is dashed by the reality that an Irishman who has rotten teeth, bad eyes, and no high school diploma has no real chance. He finds himself in the lowest of jobs, scrubbing the lobby of a swanky hotel. I am going to discuss the mental effect poverty has on McCourt in Tis. The American way of life make Frank feel like an outsider. In Ireland, everyone was an equal and they all struggled together. However, across the water, there are girls with tanned legs and boys with broad football shoulders and pearly white teeth. ...read more.

Middle

Frank in many ways is comfortable in the typical working-class job of his countrymen: the docks where he works unloading trucks, the pubs where his addiction to drinking become dangerously close to the habits of his own father (whose drunkenness nearly destroyed the McCourts in the earlier book). Nevertheless, his craving for an education never leaves him, and he manages to get himself accepted to NYU on the GI Bill. He is amazed by the comfort of his fellow students, who sit in the cafeteria and idle away hours arguing their fierce convictions: "Going to college seems to be a great game with them. When they're not talking about their averages the students argue about the meaning of everything, life, the existence of God, the terrible state of the world, and you never know when someone is going to drop in the one word that gives everyone the deep serious look, existentialism." ...read more.

Conclusion

The role of outsider is in many ways McCourt's greatest gift. He is an acute observer, and his sometimes suspicious distance allows him the eye for the striking description, the ear for accents and melodic phrases. In one of his earliest NYU classes, the students are asked to select an author they would like to meet. Frank selects Jonathan Swift: "I'd like to meet him because of Gulliver's Travels. A man with an imagination like that would be a great one to have a cup of tea or a pint with." Frank McCourt does not need imagination to invent his tales: he has lived them. Nevertheless, McCourt's appreciation for the beauty of language is breath taking. He has a thousand stories that light his lifetime. I would have a cup of tea with him any day. G r e g S m I t h 4 K 7 ...read more.

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