Coping with poverty.

Essay by aaliyaHigh School, 12th gradeA-, April 2003

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Manawaka, Canada and Limerick, Ireland are on separate sides of the earth, however, when the Great Depression took place, both counties were equally affected. Angela's Ashes and Stone Angel are novels written in the era of The Great Depression, and involve characters reminiscing on their childhood and the desperate circumstances they encountered involving their poverty-stricken families. Angela's Ashes is a genuine memoir by Frank McCourt and is in the view of Frank, who is growing up in a poor lifestyle. Stone Angel is written by Margaret Lawrence and is in the view of Hagar, who is aging, and reflecting back on her life during the Great Depression. The Great Depression occurred in 1930 and resulted in rise in poverty. Since unemployment rose so drastically, families were left to bear with the little they did have. The husbands, in both novels were of no help to their families.

The wives found desperate forms of income in order to help their children survive. The children are supportive, depending on their attitude towards their family. Individuals, even if they were part of the same family, reacted differently to situations involving poverty. They might have accomplished something to ease the situation, or worsen the situation.

Husbands turn to alcohol when under pressure; lose form of income, and become isolated from their families. When Malachy McCourt does get a job, he brings some money home to his starving family, and loses the job quite quickly because of irregular attendance. "It's bad enough that Dad loses jobs in the third week but now he drinks all the dole money once in a month" (McCourt, 171), says Frank, explaining that his father spent the income the family did receive on alcohol. Unlike Malachy, Bram Shipley actually did not have a job--he...