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Transcript of Teacher Man
The People Person
Throughout the book, Teacher Man, Frank McCourt finds himself in contact with a wide variety of people and characters including students parents. administrators and even himself.
In Teacher Man by Frank McCourt there are many motifs, thematic points, and symbols portrayed through key quotes and passages.
McCourt, Frank. Teahcer Man. New York: Scribner, 2005. Print.
"When I act all tough they listen politely till the spasm passes. They know."
Both in real life and in the classroom, Frank tries desperately to be the man / teacher that people respect and listen to. Frank sees that the students and adults in his life can see right through his fake persona and gives up trying to be the person he knows he is not.
- Frank McCourt, Teacher Man
Frank McCourt: In the book, Teacher Man, Frank is the Protagonist. Frank tells the story of his life through his point of view. Frank is a round character. Throughout the story you see into his past, present and future. Frank is also arguably the antagonist because he is constantly battling himself to become a better teacher.
Alberta: Frank's wife is a flat secondary character. Although she has a small part in the book Alberta has a huge impact in Frank's life. She pushes him to better himself even if she is blunt about her feelings. Eventually she gives birth to their child which also helps Frank to further better himself.
The Analyzer / Classifier
Frank McCourt came to America with a suit, briefcase, and an old abused copy of The Works of Shakespeare in hand. Coming from a poverty stricken childhood he hopes to better him future At nineteen years of age he decides to become a teacher little does he know that he had found his calling.
One of the first life changing events that happens to Frank McCourt is his first day of teaching class. He is unprepared and has no clue how to control adolescents. He knows that the kids will be able to see right through him and take advantage of the situation. The kids file in and Frank finds he can't get a word in about the lesson. He finds that he can at least keep the kids quiet with stories from his childhood in Limerick, Ireland.
Frank tells the kids about his past loves, his job at the docks and warehouses, anything to keep them quiet. He finally gives them a writing activity they're interested in. Frank tell the kids to write excuse notes for famous and important figures. He hops around from high school to high school and even ends up teaching a college coarse. Eventually his wife, Alberta, finds him a job at the high school she is working at. Frank is faced with a class full of teenage girls. Frank gets pushed around. He is into bringing the class to a movie called Cold Turkey
The turning point in the book is when Frank applies and is accepted to Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. Frank travels to Ireland via the Queen Elizabeth leaving his wife behind only to have small visits in between. Frank permanently returns to New York eighteen months later short of his PhD.
Due to the long time away, the various encounters with women, and physiological problems Frank and his wife get a divorce. Frank substitutes at Stuyvesant High School and is asked to stay permanently. Frank accepts.
The Students: In this story Frank comes in contact with many students as he teaches them over a thirty year span of time. Most students, throughout the story, remain as flat characters with the exception of the few that he highlights. Some of the more flat characters also play into the role of stock characters as he explains their nationalities and the way they present themselves.
The Administrators and Parents: The parents of the students and administrators of the high schools represent Frank's antagonist. As they ridicule and blame Frank for all their child's problems they also shape him and his teaching styles.
On the last day of school a student shouts to Frank saying that he should write a book. He responds "I'll try." Since finishing his teaching career Frank has written three books for one of which he has won a Pulitzer Prize.
Text - World
Two of the students in Frank's Mckee High English class, named Louise and Sal, were in love. Louise was Irish and Sal was Italian. Their friends and families disapproved of them being together. Even though neither of them belonged to gangs the Irish gang gave Sal trouble. Eventually the Irish gang beat Sal within inches of his life and Louise and Sal were no more.
In the play West Side Story there are two gangs, The Sharks and The Jets. Maria (The Sharks) and Tony (The Jets) fall in love. The relationship was not accepted by their friends. In the end Tony is killed off by a Shark.
The Expander / Connector
Text - History
In the book Frank explains his extremely poor childhood in Ireland. The boy from Limerick grew up with one shirt so old and abused it was falling apart in his mothers hands.
1845 was the start of the potato famine in Ireland. Even though the potato famine was long gone after ten year people had to deal with poverty and poor living conditions much like the famine era.
The Expander / Connector
Text - World
Frank makes an effort throughout the book to engage the students in his lessons. He finds that the students listen and receive the information better if they can connect it to something whether it be to their own lives, stories, or music.
"There are two basic ways of getting the attention of American teenagers: sex and food."
- Frank McCourt, Teacher Man
Throughout the book Frank is constantly trying new ways to engage and capture the attention of the american teenagers he is teaching.
In the movie the Freedom Writers the teacher Erin Gruwell shows the students that no matter what the literature or curriculum is they can learn it by connect it to their own lives.
"Frank McCourt." Albany. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2013.
Konigsberg, Eric. "Frank McCourt - A Story Even as a Teacher." New York Times.
N.p., 19 July 2009. Web. 15 Sept. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/
Nico. "West Side Story: 50th Anniversary Blu-ray Edition Review." Collider.
N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2013. <http://collider.com/
PBS. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2013. <http://www.pbs.org/onlyateacher/
Rella, Cindy. "Realizations." BlogSpot. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2013.
Motivation of Character: Throughout the story Frank is always trying to better himself due to the fact that his mother sacrificed so much for him to have a better brighter future
Allegory: Towards the end of the memoir Frank introduces the poem "My Papa's Waltz" to his classes. Frank's father was an alcoholic and left him and his mother when frank was young.
By: Frank McCourt