Books and Movies Reviews

The Last Hurrah

Edwin O'Connor's novel The Last Hurrah illustrates a remarkable view of the difficult and complex life of the Irish-American community of Boston in the 1950's. The story is presented though political context focusing on social and ethnic concerns as well as prejudice and stereotyping.This is a true story of politics, corruption, the rise and success of the Irish immigration, the opposition but most of all it is a story of people.There are a number of important elements that are unique to the Irish community in Boston and also significant to the life of Skeffington. As a descendent of the Irish immigration Frank Skeffington values historical perspective, religion and work ethic.He realizes the struggles of his parents, and is proud of his past "we are not all descended from kings" he told his nephew.While running his campaign Skeffington experiences strong opposition from James Curley, a forceful and corrupt political force in the community in Boston. Curley demonstrates !
a clearly determined form of corruption without concern for the ethnic or political history of the Irish immigrant community. Although Curley chooses to display his hatred toward the Irish through politics, his intent is extremely clear, which reveals strong evidence of discrimination displayed not only directly towards immigrants but descendants of those immigrants as well. The major conflicts developed are not just the products of the perceived political situation or corruption, but are also related to common social and religious perspectives indicative of the community "Once politics were the only way a man could climb out of the slum". Frank Skeffington, who originated out of the Irish getto, unveils an important lesson, such that, in order to become a powerful adult one must comprehend their past and make determined efforts to challenge complicated issues. By no means could Skeffington change the future direction of hi…


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