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Does fate play the greatest role in the novels or is it the difference in personality that is the true divider between the success and failure of the two major characters?

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English Coursework * Does fate play the greatest role in the novels or is it the difference in personality that is the true divider between the success and failure of the two major characters? "It lies not in our power to love or hate, For will in us is over-ruled by fate."- C. Marlowe - Hero and Leander "'Tis in ourselves that we are thus or thus" - Shakespeare - Othello, Act 1 Scene 3 The concept of fate and destiny has fascinated humans for centuries. The idea that our lives are preordained and 'set in the stars' has seemed to be an easy stance to take on ones life, especially when it does not take us in the route we desire. The Greek's were a nation obsessed with fate and created myths such as Oedipus and The Fates to illustrate the outer powers that control our lives. These ideas have of course been continued throughout history and helped to shape our views on the true control that we hold over our future. Even in today's society of an ever-expanding work place with greater opportunities, we are constantly reminded of a fate like control whether it is from a religious influence or daily horoscopes. ...read more.


The back setting of the American Depression, which is mentioned on various occasions, sets the context and helps to explain why the McCourt family is so poor aside from the wasted money on alcohol by the father. Jude's childhood as an orphan raised by his working class great Aunt is also one of low class stigmata's, although the poverty is not there as within McCourts memoirs. Jude appears to live a comfortable life with the necessities but never any of the riches that high or even middle class families may enjoy. Class division is a theme that runs through both novels and is a problem that both McCourt and Jude face throughout their lives. It is not until the move back to Limerick in Ireland and as Frank McCourt has aged that any class distinction becomes noticeable to the young McCourt. Because of the low class status Jude and McCourt hold as youths both characters find that they are unfairly denied many opportunities even though they both have the intelligence and eagerness to learn. Religion also plays a large role in both McCourt and Jude's life, but neither character is shown the mercy and lenity that the Church is supposed to offer its followers. ...read more.


His own parents ended up dead, which is seen due to their marriage, and his great Aunt has stayed away from marriage all her life, "The Fawleys were not made for wedlock: it never seemed to sit well upon us". It is true that Jude's first marriage to Arabella Donn is a failure, however it is not the statute of marriage that seems to be the problem for Jude as even Sue Brideshead's avoidance of marriage can not prevent the ultimate failure of there partnership. It can also be said that the lower class upbringing Jude had been given by his Aunt led to the demise of any hopes Jude may have held to gaining a further education and career within the church. McCourt also holds some demons from his families past that he carries with him throughout his childhood and that surface during his adult life as well. The 'curse of the Irish' is one that follows McCourt to America with him. His own Father's drinking problem that cast the McCourt family into poverty, is continued by a depressed Frank McCourt who believes he his failing in his dreams. McCourt always feels like an outsider in the same way that Jude always feels an inferior in the city of Christminster to the intellects that surround him. ...read more.

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