Ironweed Characters

William Kennedy
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Francis Phelan is one of those faces we pass on the streets. Sometimes we look away, sometimes we offer money, but always we feel grateful for our homes and our bank accounts, and the fact that we are not the ones forced to wander the mean streets alone. Rarely do we think any more deeply about our homeless population than that. Author William Kennedy has written an entire novel devoted to a homeless character. Through Francis, he shows us that homeless people are every bit as emotionally complex as the rest of society. Francis' character is developed respectfully. He is shown as a man capable of independent thought and decision-making, who has simply made some bad decisions for all the wrong reasons. This is something that could happen to any of us, and the novel touches a nerve in its readership by showing just how close...

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This section contains 1,726 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Ironweed Study Guide
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