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Last Hurrah-Character

Essay by 24  •  September 9, 2010  •  418 Words (2 Pages)  •  800 Views

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Edwin O'Connor's novel The Last Hurrah presents a view of the difficult and hard life of the Irish-American community in Boston of the 1950's. The author uses a number of characterizations to produce themes that relate to the political and social considerations of this era. With a narrative style that holds the reader's interest, O'Connor leads you through the streets and alleys of the old city, giving you a brief look at old-time city politics. He does this through Frank Skeffington who is the main character. One of the characters O'Connor used to make his point is John Gorman.

John Gorman is quiet and somber. Gorman's dedication to social structures and concern for religion and the family differ from the ideas represented by the candidate and the corrupt political leader. When talking with Gorman at a party, Molly Riordan presents her view of Frank Skeffington, and is met with Gorman's skeptical response. Molly says, "He's the best of them all, John, God love him. There's not a night goes by I don't say a little prayer for him."(O'Connor 85). Gorman's response is a simple non-committal comment about the party and skeptically attempts to avoid demonstrating any commitment to Molly's remarks. Although Gorman and Skeffington have a close association, there is no determination of any loyalty that exists from Gorman's view. He is not dedicated to the cause of Skeffington's election, although that is a primary aspect of many of his interactions. Gorman's odd sense of humor also adds to his presentation of disbelief in regards to Skeffington. When discussing the topic of campaign issues that came up between Skeffington and his nephew, the nephew acknowledges that the topic did come up whenever they were together. Gorham's response, intended to bring up religious symbolism as well as humor, which was, " Ah well, that's



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