United States die as aresult of alcohol usage. As a whole America contains roughly 14 million people diagnosed with alcoholism, which means about 1 in every thirteen adults, the people leading our nation, abuse alcohol privileges. This disease is slowly taking over, poisoning one home after another. In fact, one out of every four American households is touched by an alcohol related problem every year. Victims, and there loved ones, know hands on what it’s like to deal with a problem of this severity.
Its noted that majority of recovering alcoholics have stated that with out family support and tolerance it would have been a nearly impossible battle to recovery. Love and affection is considerably the most important treatment for fighting this disease. It’s often an eye opening experience that enables a person, as well as their family, to look at their life and decide for themselves what is important and what can be left behind. Sadly if alcohol can’t be left behind then chances are the rest of their life will be. Billy Lynch an alcoholic, in the novel Charming Billy, by Alice McDermott, can in ways be considered an exception to this widely accepted theory.
The name Billy, derived from William, means protector, and that’s exactly what Billy Lynch was, a protector of love, laughter, and life. Ironically this savior of pursuing happiness and living life to the fullest was not around long enough to spread his outlook of his morals much beyond his family and friends. As strong of a man as he...
was, he allowed alcoholism to out fight him and Billy was slowly defeated by the disease that eventually drove him to death. Although Billy is physically gone he was the type of person that will never be forgotten and a piece of him remains with all his loved ones, especially his wife Maeve. The story of Billy Lynch is told after his death.
The novel begins in a small bar-and-grill with Maeve calmly sitting by herself staring out the desolate window. Tears are slowly rolling down her cheeks as she patiently waits for everyone who knew and cared about Billy to continuously stream in. One after another people were giving their deepest sympathies to Maeve then took their seats. Billy was the type of person who everyone had a story about, even if they had only met him once or twice.He was the “friend of a friend” that was always being talked about. Funerals are often associated with an overwhelming amount of sorrow and despair that blankets over the whole day.When initially thought about, the celebration of a death seems disrespectful, when in reality it is an emotional way of letting go, while trying to hold on.At Billy’s funeral, on that day, with out a doubt there was a thick layer of remorse coating the air, however at the same time the people who will miss him the most could not help but smile when looking back on some of the memories they have with Billy.
Throughout the novel a number of Billy’s friends and family look back on memories and events that took place in Billy’s life,
sharing all their stories. All the clips of his life, that were being talked about, mold together to give the reader a picture of what he looked like, acted like, and most importantly what he did during his life to create such a strong personality and, on the down side, the addiction to alcohol. At this gathering to honor Billy a secret was let loose that helped to shape the whole novel. When Billy was a young man he fell completely in love with a beautiful Irish girl named Eva. He met this girl in Ireland and loved everything about her.
When returning to the states he promised that he would save up enough money to send back for her.They wrote back and forth until finally Billy sent the only money he had over to Eva so she could come be his wife.For a while he hadn’t gotten any letters responding to the money sent over. He began to worry and question if Eva got it or not. One day Billy’s friend Dennis was talking to Mary, Eva’s sister, and got the breath taking news that changed Billy forever. In reality Eva turned on Billy into a heartless woman, she stole his money to start a small business and married a hometown boy named Tom, without even telling Billy. She just let him sit in the dark wondering about her every minute of every day. Dennis worried about ruining Billy with the news and decided to tell him that she was dead, because to them, that’s exactly what she was.
He told him that pneumonia had swept over the country, which was true, and Eva was a victim of it. He said she was sick for a number of weeks and that’s why he hadn’t heard from her, until finally the disease took her life away. “Eva never died. It was a lie. Just between the two of us. Eva lived.” ( At first Billy didn’t know how to react; the whole thing took him by surprise. Initially he didn’t even respond, he went blank and could barely even talk. The thought of loosing the person who meant more to him than life itself was mind boggling. There are two paths that can be taken after a life changing event such as this one.The first way is to give up; convincing yourself that life cannot go on.
The second way is to have faith and believe that everything happens for a reason, and slowly move on with your life. Billy had more faith than most people combined, however while moving on he comforted himself with alcohol, which lead him down the wrong path. A few years later Billy found out about the lie, however by that time he had met and married Maeve, a very simple but pleasant woman, which was just what he needed. Nonetheless he hadn’t forgotten Eva; she was his first and only true love. In fact, he made an oath against alcohol and went all the way to Ireland to pledge for it. While he was over there he met and had lunch with Eva, just as old friends
- alternative religions
- Free Will
- Good And Evil
- Holy Spirit
- Jesus Christ
- New Testament