‘Tis Explain, Please!!!?
(Tis is an Irish abbreviation for “it is” and is a typical saying of Irish catholic people like McCourt’s mother.)
‘T’is’ was written by Frank McCourt, as a sequel to Angela`s Ashes, a memoir of his childhood. It won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize, other important awards and rapidly became a bestseller, topping all charts worldwide for over three years.
Frank McCourt lives now in New York after spending his childhood with his Catholic mother and his 3 brothers Malachy, Michael and Alphie in Limerick, Ireland. He was called Arrah, and was born; like his brother Malacy; in Brooklyn. Michael is only six and Alphie two years old. His alcoholic father left the family in poverty.
In October 1949 Frank sailes from Cork to New York City on the “MS Irish Oak” to change his life and a dream comes true! He is only 19 years old, and is very shy because of his destroyed teeth, pimply face and sore eyes.
Frank gets his first job as a houseman at the Biltmore Hotel in New York. He has his experiences with bars, girls and libraries. When he is back from Germany where he is in the army he earns his money in various warehouses. He always dreams of being a student.
He is accepted at New York Univerity without any required high school degree. In 1957 Frank passes the Bord of Education exams for teaching high school English. In March 1958 he starts as an English teacher. His students don`t want to read and they don`t want to write.But he finds ways to give everyone a passing grade. He enrolls at Brooklyn College for classes leading to a master`s degree in English. In the spring of 1972 they offer him a permanent position at Stuyvesant High School.
At the University he meets Alberta Small, the loveliest girl in all of NYU. In the summer of 1961 he marries her. In 1971 his daughter Maggie is born and they have their own house. The marriage of Frank and Alberta fails. When Maggie is five Frank walks out and stays with a friend. It doesn`t last. But before Maggie’s eighth birthday he leaves his family forever.
His brothers Malachy and Michael are in the Air Force and later Malachy runs a very successful bar in Manhatten with Michael working for him. He provides passage in 1959 for his mother and brother Alphie who is out of secondary school and ready for a job. They live with Malachy for a while and change to an apartment to stay in NY forever.
After his classes at Brooklyn College he sometimes sees his mother. She always talks about the old days in Brooklyn where she had five children, three of which died, the little girl here in Brooklyn, and twin boys in Ireland. When they have tea together she doesn’t talk about the bars her husband went wild in, spending his wages, forgetting his children. She must have had nightmares alone in the apartment.
Frank visits his father twice in Belfast. In the summer of 1963 his father comes with a three week ticket on the Queen Mary. He arrives drunk and the last night he comes home drunk, and sails away forever.
When Frank travels with his family to Ireland his mother flies over and stays with them awhile at their rented flat in Dublin. They have a good time together. Back in NY the emphysema that came from years of smoking left her so breathless she has to stay at home. She grows very fat. The last time she is in the hospital she just wants to die. Frank is supposed to stay all night but he goes home to Brooklyn. When Malachy calls at three in the morning he doesn’t have to say the words. She would like to be taken back and buried with her family in Limerick.
In January 1985 Frank’s father dies at the Royal Victoria Hospital. He flies to the funeral in Belfast. The same year they bring their mother’s ashes to her last resting place, the graveyard at Mungret Abbey outside Limerick City.
I hope it helps Good luck on the test hope you get an A+
If you like the TV show Lost, it functions on the same idea…every decision made on the island gives you insights into why people do the things they do by showing you small bits of their lives, like haircuts and job interviews, and meeting a loved one for the first time. It all matters and makes you who you are.
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