Gerber And Kraut: A Literary Analysis

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The nineteenth and twentieth centuries were a very important time in the history of the United States. Millions of people immigrated from all over the world. Europeans, Mexicans, Africans, Asians and so many more people came to America looking for jobs and the start of a new life. Some of these people succeeded in this, however, many did not. There was an abundance of prejudice, discrimination and stereotypes given to these immigrants. People found themselves in violent situations and worse living conditions than they originally left. In Becoming White: Irish Immigration in the Nineteenth Century by David Gerber and Alan Kraut, in America, immigrants were largely seen as outsiders who were unable to assimilate and integrate into the culture…show more content…
Contradicting many of the stereotypes seen in Becoming White, McCourt actually posses many traits that help him to be recognized as equal. Gerber and Kraut explain that “the Irish were first categorized as a sort of racial other, neither white nor black” (Becoming White 162). Since the Irish were obviously a similar color as the American, they couldn’t be considered black. They were categorized as a racial other because, in the 1800s, they were depicted as rambunctious and violent similar to how black people were seen. However, McCourt and the other Irish people he was with were not good examples of this. The American women and even the men, seem to have no problem with the Irish. Frieda, especially, doesn 't seem to categorize the Irish into a completely different race. She actually had a good time with Frank and really liked him. After taking Frank into a room, Frieda proceeded to undress him and they began to make love. After it was over, she told Frank that he 's wonderful and asked him if he would ever consider settling in Poughkeepsie (Angela 's Ashes 36). Frieda clearly has no problem with Frank. From what we have seen, she treats him similarly to any other person, even if they were American. During the twentieth century, when Frank immigrated to America, it was evident that the Irish were already accepted and integrated into the American society. They were well liked and respected by the…show more content…
From the memoir, we can see that the Irish were regarded as polite, wonderful and pleasant in the eyes of Americans. They had rarely displayed any negative traits. It is evident that the stereotypes seen in the nineteenth century were essentially dissipated by the time Frank McCourt was welcomed into America. Although it will be gradual for McCourt to be fully admitted into society, just as it was gradual for Irish to become accepted, he will eventually get there and he is already on a great start. In many ways, McCourt possessed likeable traits that aided him in contradicting the Irish disorderly, violent, drinker
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