The Diving Bell and The Butterfly and Angela’s Ashes In Angela’s Ashes, Frankie McCourt learns to cope with his poverty from a very young age. When Frankie’s parents soon have more children, times get even harder for the family. After Frankie’s Grandma donates fare money for them to come to Ireland, they are overseas. Jobs are sparse in Ireland, too. Every job Malachy McCourt Sr. gets only last until the day he is late for work.
Every week when the dole money comes from the government to support them, his Dad goes out and selfishly wastes it on liquor, continuing to leave his family with no money for food, beverage, or clothing. The “Angel on the Seventh Step” continues to contribute more members to the McCourt family. On top of a growing family, sickness constantly plagues them. During Hitler’s reign, jobs open up in England. In hopes of coming into some money, Frankie’s Dad goes to England for work.
As the weeks go by, only one check is mailed to the family, and they know they are on their own again. Frankie begins to steal food and milk more frequently from local shops in Limerick. The day he is of age, he gets a steady job to support his family. The wages that once supported only his luxuries now have to support his family as well, because the charity that previously helped ceased giving them dockets. Only in his early teens, Frankie had to pick up the father role that his Dad had neglectfully left behind.
Frankie thought his “father is like the Holy Trinity with three people in him, the one in the morning with the paper, the one at night with the stories and the prayers, and then the one who does the bad thing and comes home with the smell of whiskey and wants us to die for Ireland” (210). He never drank his money’s worth of pints like his Dad nor did he smoke the fags as his Mam did. He taught himself to be responsible. Frankie thought to himself, upon all of his troubles, “It’s lovely to know the world can’t interfere with the inside of your head” (202).
Although it would be a sin to confess, Frankie stole food to keep his family nourished when there was no income for them. In Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Jean-Dominique Bauby suffered a severe stroke in his brain stem, leaving him with “locked-in syndrome”, meaning that he was “paralyzed from head to toe, the patient, his mind intact, is imprisoned inside his own body, unable to speak or move. ” (Bauby 4). After 20 days, he recovered from a coma.
Unwilling to let it affect his determination, he wrote a book by recitation of the frequency of the French alphabet, by blinking his left eye upon hearing the letter he wanted. “My diving bell becomes less oppressive, and my mind takes flight like a butterfly. There is so much to do. You can wander off in space or in time, set out for Tierra del Fuego or for King Midas’s court. You can visit the woman you love, slide down beside her and stroke her still-sleeping face.
You can build castles in Spain, steal the Golden Fleece, discover Atlantis and,” said Bauby, “realize your childhood dreams and adult ambititons” (5). Not only did Bauby do his best to maintain his everyday thoughts and dreams, he also had an incredible imagination. He always recollected the happy memories in his life, longing to one day return. Like Frankie, Bauby always hoped for the best, for a brighter tomorrow and for improvement in their lives. Unlike Frankie, Bauby suffered a different obstacle- a serious health-related obstacle.
The McCourt family’s main obstacle was poverty with occassional sickness. Frankie overcomes his obstacle when getting a job, whereas Bauby found comfort in remembering happier times. Words Cited Bauby, Jean- Dominique. “Prologue”. Introduction. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. New York: A. A. Knopf, 1997. 4. Print. Bauby, Jean- Dominique. “Prologue”. Introduction.