Human Dignity and Self-Respect

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by OrtegaK6433yc
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Language Arts
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Literature

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Human Dignity and Self-Respect

Human Dignity and Self-Respect

Questions 1. In your opinion, what factors led Angela to lose her sense of self respect?2. Who has a more purposeful reason to why they lose their self-respect, Malachy or Angela? 3. To whom does Frank learned from the most? Malachy or Angela?

4. Do you think the McCourts will have to go through all these experiences if they stayed in America? 5. Again at the end of the memoir, Frank has an intercourse with a committed woman. Do you think Frank learned from the similar experience he had earlier in the memoir?

Malachy Sr. McCourtMalachy is having a hard time balancing self-respect and dignity. - He does not show respect to himself. “If he gets a job at the Limerick Cement Company or Rank’s Flour Mills he loses it in the third week. He loses it because he goes to the pubs on the third Friday of the job, drinks all his wages and misses the half day of work on Saturday morning” (145).- He tries to gain respect from other people. “He will never leave the house without collar and tie. A man without collar and tie is a man with no respect for himself” (McCourt 94).- However, poverty pushes him to get drunk and be unsuccessful “He drinks his tea in the morning, signs for the dole at the Labour Exchange, reads the papers at the Carnegie Library, goes for his long walks far into the country. If he gets a job at the Limerick Cement Company or Rank’s Flour Mills he loses it in the third week. He loses it because he goes to the pubs on the third Friday of the job, drinks all his wages and misses the half day of work on Saturday morning” (McCourt 145).

Angela McCourtAngela disregards both dignity and self-respect in order to survive and support her family- Committed adultery “Mam tells us go to bed, she'll be after us in a minute as soon as she climbs to the loft with Laman's last mug of tea. We often fall asleep before she goes up but there are nights we hear them talking, grunting, moaning...He's only twelve and he doesn't understand. I'm thirteen and I think they're at the excitement up there.” (McCourt 291)- Begs for leftovers/Picks up coal “This is my own mother, begging. This is worse than the dole, the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the Dispensary. It's the worst kind of shame, almost as bad as begging on the streets where the tinkers hold up their scabby children, Give us a penny for the poor child, mister, the poor child is hungry, missus. “ (McCourt 250).- Does not respect give respect to her own family “Mam says, Sitting on your arse by the fire is no place for a man” (McCourt 218).

Frank McCourtFrank confuses dignity and self-respect as he goes through different circumstances while growing up. - He steals “I make sure no one is looking, grab a bunch of bananas outside the Italian grocery shop and run down Myrtle Avenue, away from the playground, around the block and back to the other end where there's a hole in the fence” (McCourt 32).- Premarital sex/ watches friend’s naked sister “He knows the next day we'll be getting Confirmation money and if we promise to pay him a shilling each he'll let us climb up the rainspout behind his house this very night to look in the window and see his sisters' naked bodies when they take their weekly wash. I sign right away” (McCourt 188).- Feels guilty of what he did wrong "He already wrote down my mother's name and address and now I'm afraid he'll write and say that your fine son spent his first night in America in a bedroom in Poughkeepsie romping with a woman whose husband was away shooting deer for a bit of relaxation after doing his bit for America in the war and isn't this a fine way to treat the men who fought for their country” (McCourt 361).

Everyone is entitled to human dignity. Dignity gives an individual a sense of value and worth. Self-respect is the sense of one’s own dignity and integrity. One’s present environment and living condition is a key factor to the downfall of one’s level of dignity and self respect as seen in the memoir through the characters of Frank, Angela, and Malachy Sr. McCourt.


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