Frank Mccourt vs. the Modern Tenager

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Adrian Lara Period 1 8/29/12 Frank McCourt Vs. The Modern Teenager Frank McCourt’s love of and dedication to reading puts most modern day teenagers to shame. A general observation of teenagers today shows that reading on a daily basis is the least of their concerns. In the obituary of Frank McCourt, Lev Grossman, the writer of the article, talks about how hard McCourt’s life was as a child, as if it wasn’t evident with his book already. Reading was his only escape from the world around him. There wasn’t access to television, and a proper education was for the rich and the lucky few. In modern day society, so much has changed. Writers, unlike in McCourt’s generation, are no longer heroes. The media has taken over so much of our life that the average teenager no longer sees reading as a daily obligation but more of an option along with surfing the Internet or watching TV. Although there are exceptions, based on the lifestyle they grow up in, teenagers are more concerned about pop culture than incredible pieces of literature such as Angela’s Ashes. In the obituary, Grossman said about McCourt: “Although he quit school, he continued to read whenever he could.” Currently, there are more high school dropouts than before. Most aim to get their GED and move on to college while others simply jump straight into work. McCourt didn’t have the luxury to go to school and get a proper education at a young age. Back then, he didn’t have the resources that modern day teenagers do. Because we have so many options today, reading is something teenagers overlook. McCourt saw it as an opportunity since he did not have many of those in his childhood. He used reading as a way to educate himself while escaping the life he lived through literature. This simple fact goes along with this quote, also from Grossman: “What kept him alive then…was his humor and his love of words.” Reading

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