“ No Tears for Frankie”

Write a reaction paragraph or essay that includes an integrated summary of the text and comments on the author’s behavior and feelings. Use quotations and references. Under the circumstances, would you have expected Greenlee to consider any degree of forgiveness for her deceased tormentor? What if there had been grieving family members in the audience? Although Frankie seemed to be the worst kind of bully, is there anything that might be learned about him- call on your knowledge of bullies –  that might make him seem less malicious?


‘No Tears for Frankie’ refers to the author’s autobiographical account of her experiences as she was growing up. More specifically, it is based upon author’s troubling memories about being bullied when was a 10-year-old girl. The author skillfully depicts the life as she knew it back then from the perspective of a young child who had to face severe bullying and sexual harassment. She explains how she became marginalized and isolated due to her race. She recalls, “He tormented all of the girls in our class. But Frankie relished singling me out- the only Black girl in a sea of Jewish girls dotted with Latinas”. She felt totally helpless as she recalls no one in class spoke out for her in front of the teacher when she was bullied in a closet at school.

Finally, she narrates how she cursed Frankie in front of everyone, wishing him death. When Frankie died after some time, she also recounts her experience of attending his funeral and how she could not feel any sympathy for the deceased. The author’s traumatic experiences with the deceased had practically left her unable to sympathize with the deceased. She recounts how she felt distant from the whole thing and could see everyone grieving or feeling sorry for the deceased except herself. The essay title thus voices out her lack of sorrow Her inability to feel sorry for the deceased, who after all was merely a young child does not appear as odd to me especially after the author narrates her own side of the story.

Given the fact that the author was only 10 years old, it is unrealistic to expect her to have the courage, wisdom and maturity to look past the troubles Frankie brought upon her, and to have any kind of forgiveness for him.  We might have expected any forgiveness from her had she been any older than ten years. Also, seeing Frankie’s relatives as mourning for him wouldn’t have also affected the author’s emotional response. Lastly, one may argue that although Frankie was an evil bully, he was merely a young child and thus one may sympathize with Frankie based on his extreme youth.