Compare To Angela's Ashes

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade November 2001

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1. "Mrs. O'Connell knows I like the country telegrams and if a day is sunny she gives me a batch of ten that will keep me away all morning and I don't have to return till after the dinner hour at noon. There are fine autumn days when the Shannon sparkles and the fields are green and glinting with silver morning dew. Smoke blows across fields and there's the sweet smell of turf fires"¦Horses like to stick their heads over fences and hedges to see what's passing by and I stop and talk to them because they have big eyes and long noses that show how intelligent they are. Sometimes two birds will be singing to each other across a field and I have to stop and listen to them and if I stay long enough more birds will join till every tree and bush is alive with birdsong. If there's a stream gurgling under a bridge on the road, birds singing and cows mooing and lambs baaing, that's better than any band in a film.

The smell of dinner bacon and cabbage wafting from a farmhouse makes me so weak with the hunger I climb into a field and stuff myself with blackberries for a half an hour. I stick my face into the stream and drink icy water that's better than the lemonade in any fish and chip shop." (Page 322) This quotation connects the themes from the novel to myself because here Frank is talking about the natural things he enjoys. Frank does not have a lot of money for activities and he has found the sweetest things in life to make him happy. Frank really does not have a choice but to find things to enjoy without the cost of money, for he really has none to spend, except sometimes to go to see a movie or buy some toffee. I think this applies to me at some points in my life because it is enjoyable to listen to birds, or enjoy the company of animals, or doing activities such as these. To do the things Frank has just talked about is to step back from the busy life and enjoy what is around you, and that's the way life really ought to be lived.

2. "He walks around the kitchen with her and talks to her. He tells her how lovely she is with her curly black hair and the blue eyes of her mother. He tells her he'll take her to Ireland and they'll walk the Glens of Antrim and swim in Lough Neagh. He'll get a job soon, so he will, and she'll have dresses of silk and shoes with silver buckles.

The more Dad sings to Margaret the less she cries and as the days pass she even begins to laugh. Mam says, Look at him trying to dance with that child in his arms, him with his two left feet She laughs and we all laugh.

The twins cried when they were small and Dad and Mam would say Whisht and Hush and feed them and they'd go back to sleep. But when Margaret cries there's a high lonely feeling in the air and Dad is out of bed in a second, holding her to him, doing a slow dance around the table, singing to her, making sounds like a mother. When he passes the window where the streetlight shines in you can see tears on his cheeks and that's strange because he never cries for anyone unless he has the drink taken and he sings the Kevin Barry song and the Roddy McCorley song. Now he cries over Margaret and he has no smell of drink on him.

Mam tells Minnie MacAdorey, He's in heaven over that child." (Page 30) I think that this passage connects to the book Gone with the Wind, because both Dad and Rhett Butler seem to change into different men when their daughters are born. Like Dad in Angela's Ashes, Rhett sings to his and Scarlett's daughter, and caters to her every immediate need. If the baby isn't happy, even for a second, both Dad and Rhett will quickly do something to make sure everything is all right. In both novels, the fathers are heavy drinkers until the birth of their baby girl. As the baby grows up, the fathers both quit their drinking. Another similarity in both novels is that later in each story, the baby girl dies, and then both Dad and Rhett return to their drinking habit. I think both of these stories go to show the effect a young daughter can have on a new father. Both fathers completely changed their manners to become happier men until their baby girl was taken away from them.