The Drunkard Essay Research Paper Criticism of

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The Drunkard Essay, Research Paper Criticism of The Drunkard In The Drunkard, Frank O Connor portrays Mick Delaney as a classic Irish drunk, by showing his selfishness, his ego, and his depression. He has all three of these, in great quantity, which makes him a very unstable person. It does not just affect him; it also affects every one around him (especially his family). The story takes place in Ireland on a street called Blarney Lane. It wasn t necessarily the poorest town because everyone on the street thought them selves better then Mr. Delaney because he was only a laboring man. In Ireland a person is only as good as what they do for a living. This is one of the aspects that cause Mick to have such a selfish attitude, because he needs to feel like he is actually better

then them. Mrs. Delaney is Mick s wife. She was a very hard workingwoman. She had to be with a husband like him. When her husband would go on drinking binges she would end up paying the price. She would have to go out and make excuses for him on why he was not at work. One time after her husband missed two days of work because of his drinking she had to sell their kitchen clock just to pay the bills. This is interesting because it shows that they are so poor the only thing in their house worth anything is the kitchen clock. In Frank O Connor New Perspectives Owene Weber writes, Later stories consists of a set of sketches of painful liaisons in which women find themselves bound to the wrong man (130). This is very much the case in The Drunkard . She is forced to deal with the

consequences of here husbands drinking problem. Mss. Delaney deserved respect and, did not get it from her selfish husband. Larry Delaney was Mick s son. His fathers drinking problem also affected him. To explain how much he was O Connor writes, Mother and I knew all the phases and dreaded all the dangers (266). This illustrates that he did not have a great childhood growing up. Dreading dangers of his fathers drinking could only mean that his father was not a nice person when he was drunk. Although the story does not say it his father may have beaten him as well. Mick Delaney was a very selfish man, and it seems like all he cares about is himself. Even though he and his family were very poor he would save up his money then spend it on himself. For example he bought himself a

brand new blue serge suit and bowler hat that probably took all his savings to buy. He did this just to impress all his neighbors who considered him well beneath them. Sometimes Mick would calculate all his money and say, He would die worth hundreds (265). Hundreds even back then, was nothing to really brag about. All of this gave Mick an ego problem and when Mick started to feel like he was stronger then his neighbors he would get cocky and then feel the need for a celebration. In order to celebrate properly he felt he needed to drink. Mick is a binge-drinking alcoholic. He could go months and even years without drinking, but after his first drink he would realize that he was a fool. Then he would continue to drink until he would forget about what he had done. The drunkards

progress (265) is how O Connor so eloquently explained it. By going to his friends funeral Larry and his mother both knew that Mick was going to drink, so Mrs. Delaney made him take Larry so he could keep an eye on his father. Larry knew he had to stop his father from drinking, but was put off with a bribe of lemonade so his father could go into the pub and drink. This shows how weak Larry is because lemonade was more important then dealing with his fathers consequences when he s drunk. After Larry is done with his lemonade he is still thirsty. He decides to take a drink of his fathers porter to see why Mick liked it so much, and ends up drinking the whole thing. This could be the beginning of his own drinking problem because alcoholism is a disease and is hereditary. The fact