The Film ' Angela 's Ashes '

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Angela’s Ashes

The lead actor’s life in the film ‘Angela’s Ashes’ can be explored through western and cultural theories of human development.

Although the story is titled Angela’s Ashes for me the focal character was Frankie (Francis) McCourt. His complex and tumultuous life drove the story from beginning to end and although his mother Angela was very important she was part and parcel of the bigger picture that was Frankie McCourt’s life story (Parker, 1999). For me the story resonates the resilience of young people and their ability and inability to work their way through life. The amount of sadness, instability and constant impoverishment would have broken most, but Frankie in his role as eldest brother and son always seemed to find a way to cope and move forward.

Both Cultural and Western theorists would have had a field day with the reality of Frankie’s life, but in looking at the ideas of two specific theorists to endeavour to make sense of his journey I chose cultural theorist Mason Durie and western theorist Albert Bandura.

Mason Durie’s Te Whare Tapa Wha model looks at the individual as a whole piece that needs four parts to function; taha wairua (spiritual), taha hinegaro (mental), taha tinana (physical), taha whanau (family) (Durie, 1998). If one part is having difficulty, one or all of the other three parts will take the strain in some way in order for the individual to function as normal as possible. In the story Frankie’s life was a melee of all four
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