Frank McCourt had a very sad childhood. In his own words, “When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood. People everywhere brag and whimper about the woes of their early years, but nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying schoolmasters; the English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long years” (McCourt, p.1).
The author, who has told us of the hardships which he suffered throughout his life, till he came back to New York, also tells us of the problems that were created by his father. He tells us that his father Malachy was a drunkard and is extremely patriotic towards Ireland, so much that he is ready to sacrifice his own children for Ireland. The life of McCourt’s family is already dark, saddened by grief and hopeless and his father adds much more to their worry by getting drunk every night and basically drinking excessively even though out the day. The only good thing that he did for his family was to entertain them every night by telling them stories of the Irish heroes. During the World War II, he gets a job in England, but he spends that amount of money which he gets by working on drinking instead of sending some to his family, leaving them moneyless. But, even though Malachy has none of the parenting skills that he should have had, he still loves his children and gives them importance even though he might not show it. It can be believed that he could have been a good father for his children but certain aspects of his personality prevented him from being so.
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