Mary O’Connor’s view of the Parish and how to assimilate came from her relationship with her grandfather and her mother. When she views the new Polish immigrants as animals and will not interact or share with them her grandfather, John O'Sullivan, shuns her and makes her understand that they are just like her and she should share and play with them. John didn’t assimilate well and accepted the new immigrants and was angered by others that thought that the new immigrants were just a nuisance. He was considered important in the town, however because he had a hard time assimilating people believed he was slowly losing his mind. Women viewed how well you assimilated and your social status by your curtains, the “shanty” and the “lace-curtain” Irish (Curran, 97). The “lace-curtain’s” were given more respect, acted more American and assimilated better, like Aunt Josie and Aunt Maggie. Whereas John and Mame held on to their traditions and accepted people, they felt compassion for other immigrants because they went through the same struggles when they were first immigrants. Mary’s mother Mame is the center of the house and seems to hold the family together. Her brothers are drunks who are trying to forget the war, and she uses her tradition, caring and compassion to hold the family together. The biggest difference between this story and the readings over the last 2 weeks is the women in these immigrant stories stay at home and work; whereas in the previous readings the women left the house to work and support the family. Works Cited
Curran, Mary Doyle, and Anne Halley. The Parish and the Hill. New York: Feminist at the City University of New York, 1986. Print.