Leveling the playing field: How authors Frank McCourt and Rick Bragg overcame social exclusion through education

Cynthia Dee Hawkins, Fayetteville State University

Abstract

This thesis on Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes and Rick Bragg's All Over But the Shoutin' is a compares the memoirs of two men from opposite sides of the Atlantic who rose from poverty and hopelessness to success and fame through their writing. The thesis aims to show that McCourt, an Irishman, and Bragg, an American Southerner, struggled against not only poverty and fatherlessness, but also the negative stereotypes that plagued their particular cultures and caused them to be socially excluded. Despite the dire set of circumstances they found themselves in, both men found relief and release through the written word, finding escape in books and eventually pouring their pain out on paper rather than giving up or giving in as their fathers had done. Using examples from the memoirs and biographical and historical sources, I will show that their love for reading and writing had a cathartic effect throughout their lives that results in their escape from poverty and leads to their eventual success that subsequently ends their social exclusion. ^

Subject Area

Literature, Comparative|Literature, American|Literature, English

Recommended Citation

Cynthia Dee Hawkins, "Leveling the playing field: How authors Frank McCourt and Rick Bragg overcame social exclusion through education" (January 1, 2005). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. Paper AAI1449351.
http://digitalcommons.uncfsu.edu/dissertations/AAI1449351

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