Summary of "'Tis" by Frank Mcourt

Essay by chevyridinhotboy February 2006

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This story starts in October 1949, Frank arrives in America. Frank has returned to New York, in search of the "American Dream." This self-conscious 19-year-old, with his "oily face, red eyes, and bad teeth," has plans to become a writer or teacher of some sort and make a decent living in New York. He starts out as a Hotel boy but that doesn't work out due to his bad eyes. He joins the army and trains German Shepard's. He then becomes a typist and writes messages for the army. After his tenure is up for serving the army he comes back to New York to see his old girlfriend, but she is disappointed in him for working in warehouses in the spare time for money and leaves him for an insurance sales man. Frank then studies to become an insurance sales man, after that doesn't work out he studies in college to become a teacher.

In college he meets his future wife Alberta.

Around this time his brothers Malachy and Michael both start a business in bar tending and become infamous. Frank gets his job as a teacher and begins teaching at a high school. Here he learns the ropes to teaching and over coming his fear of speaking in public with his Irish accent or "brogue." little in common with the healthy, self-assured college students he sees on the subway and dreams of joining in the classroom. Initially, his American experience is as harrowing as his impoverished youth in Ireland, including two of the grimmest Christmases ever described in literature. McCourt views the U.S. through the same sharp eye and with the same dark humor that distinguished his first memoir: race prejudice, casual cruelty, and dead-end jobs weigh on his spirits as he searches for a way...