Angela's Ashes" And "The Drunkard

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Many people experience challenging childhoods; however, people who grow up with an alcoholic father must endure a uniquely demanding upbringing. Families with a father who has a drinking problem often struggle financially, emotionally and psychologically. Often times, the eldest son in the family is forced to grow up quickly in order to assume the role of an adult male within the family. In “Angela’s Ashes,” a memoir written by Frank McCourt, and in “The Drunkard,” a short story written by Frank O’Connor, the authors write about essentially the same cautionary tale: Beware of the father who loves his pints. Both authors write about the great consequences that come along with having an alcoholic father. In this essay, I will evaluate how effective each author is in sharing the effects of the abuses that each of the narrators must endure, what effect the community, mother and father have on each boy, and I will also assess how successful each is in having us, the reader, reflect beyond the page to better understand how these experiences help mold the character of the two boys involved. In “Angela’s Ashes,” the main character, Frank McCourt, has a tremendously difficult childhood. His mother must take care of the kids and do womanly-things while the father must support the family with the earnings from a job. The problem, though, is that Frank’s dad, Malachy, is an alcoholic. He spends virtually all of his earnings at the local pubs. He also cannot maintain a job because he cannot stay sober and wake up routinely to show up to work on time. The whole story revolves around Malachy not being able to supply for his family, which forces the family to have to move constantly and struggle immensely to afford food to eat. As the story progresses, the author reveals how Frank matures through the trials he is forced to endure and eventually become a man. In “The

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