Edwin O’Connor’s novel The Last Hurrah presents

Edwin O’Connor’s novel The Last Hurrah presents an effective view of the difficult and complex 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. He also provides most of the accounts in his novel from a single perspective, that of Frank Skeffington. He is the main character. This character in particular enables O’Connor to present the topic with some accuracy while continuing to create a fictional account of the time frame. This was his goal, to provide truth inside a fictional story. O’Connor talks directly about and gives great consideration in the system of criminal activity. He feels it directly corresponds with the political structure in the community. The author develops his novel around Skeffington, but also around the characterization of James Michael Curley, the forceful and corrupt political force in the community in Boston. These two characters seem to be greatly different, but they also have some likeness to each other. This novel portrays the complexity of the corruption within this community and the political structure. He also demonstrates the support for this type of institution and its importance within the community itself. There is particular consideration given to the political climate in this story. It is incorporated with social and ethnic concerns that are prevalent. The story also addresses prejudice and the theme of ethnic stereotyping through his character development. O’Connor does not present a work that is riddled with Irish slurs or ethnic approximations. Instead, he attempts to provide an account that is both informative and accurate. One important theme that is developed through the characterization of Skeffington is the great importance he has of the historical perspective on the current life of the Irish immigrant community. While O’Connor uses thi…

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