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    Challenges of being a Frank

    Mighty Franks is a story about the Frank family who lived in California. It is an intertwined family – brother and sister married sister and brother. Plus their mothers share an apartment together, Huffy (mother of Hank and Martoon) Frank and Sylvia (mother of Merona and Irving) Ravetch. Merona. Irving had a very close relationship when they were young and then Irving got married…. The older couple, Henrietta “Hank” and Irving Frank, is well-known playwrights and have no children. The younger couple, Martoon and Merona, has three children. The book is written from the oldest son’s perspective, Michael. The two families initially live within three blocks of each other in Laurel Canyon. Aunt Hank favored Michael, the oldest of the three children. “My aunt was the sun and I was her planet, held in devotional orbit by forces that felt larger than I was…” This favoritism causes problems within the family. Hank spends much time with Michael; she actually demands the time. This is not all well received from Michael. It causes physical issues for him. When Hank called, Michael was expected to run right over. When he made any excuse as to why he was unable to come for an hour or at all that day, “the goodbye would be swift and the phone would hit the cradle with a bang.” At one point Michael is instructed to refuse to go with Hank or Irving unless his younger brothers are invited. This results in a “punishment” because Michael is unable to comply. The “Bergman Temper” was constantly simmering between the two houses. When Hank and Irving weren’t working on a script, their house underwent frequent changes. Based on the book, Hank was a very demanding, judgmental, inflexible, and critical person. The book raises numerous points illustrating these traits. “She beguiled and she eviscerated; she gave generously and she took arrogantly; she celebrated and she excoriated; she was an angel, a devil; she was a mystery and a burden, everlasting.” Michael also experienced bullying at school and made a great attempt to hide it. By the end of the book, the reader has learned much about the Frank family and finds little reason to care for Hank. The book seems to be mostly about how rotten of a person Hank is and the challenges of living in the Frank Family.

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