The 42nd Parallel Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe Mac's life as a child.

Mac was born in Middleton, Connecticut, along with his sister Milly. It was a tough neighborhood, and, being Irish, Mac had a problem with the local bullies, which was common for that time period. After their mother's death, the family moves to Chicago. After he completes his schooling, he works in Uncle Tim's print shop.

2. What happens on the train ride to Chicago that Mac takes?

On the train ride, Mac and his sister Milly are frightened of leaving home and everything familiar. Milly cries, and Mac is homesick. Their father tries to comfort them.

3. What effect did Uncle Tim have on Mac?

Uncle Tim offered Mac a job in his print shop. Uncle Tim favored the political left and supported the labor movement and was eventually forced out of business. Uncle Tim's political beliefs affected Mac.

4. How does Mac learn independence?

Working in his uncle's print shop, Mac learned how to make a living and to be more self-reliant. He also lived with his aunt and uncle after his mother died. Adjusting to a new place had made Mac more self-aware and independent.

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