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Life can be hard. A hard life though without hope can be devastating. The first 19 years of life for Frank McCourt, the author of the 364 page biography Angela's Ashes, were very difficult and full of change. Originally published in 1996, Angela's Ashes shows the reader the life of a poor Irish Catholic family through the eyes of a young boy. Frank McCourt was born in New York in the 1930's, but his family moved back to Ireland when he was an infant and most of his story is set in Limerick. The biography focuses on the many hardships that took place over the years in Limerick, Ireland including such times as the deaths of three of his younger siblings, or the times when his father would drink away all the money that he had earned just for some drinks at the pub. Throughout the biography, Frank realizes that hardships, sometimes comical, sometimes depressing, are part of life and don't ultimately weaken someone, but in Frank's case made him stronger.
As shown throughout his biography, Frank McCourt's strength and courage was used as a weapon to get him through the poverty in his life. It was very obvious in the story that Frank McCourt wanted to make something out of his life. He wasn't going to make the hardships in life ruin him forever, but more likely life's challenges would make him reach farther and work harder for a better life.
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The lives of many Americans are difficult in the present day. Some people might be live out of their cars or have to work two jobs. In the 1930's, people such as Frank McCourt had terrible living conditions without much of the government assistance that is available today. In the 1930's poor people in Ireland had few resources to turn to if faced with extreme hardship. Frank learns a valuable trait throughout his childhood. It is to never give up and to keep on striving for the goal of a better life. The people of the 21st century need to look at this example of poverty and not look at the negative, but rather the positive. People need to understand that life doesn't always have to be bad. It may be rough, but it can be changed. Frank shows people a perfect example of how if life is rough it can be changed. He was dirt poor, had lost three siblings, and had an alcoholic as a father. He didn't let those misfortunes get the best of him. He came to America and made the best out of his life.
Poverty is a bad thing, but it happens to the best of people. Frank McCourt and his family were like many others who were trying to survive long enough until they got a much needed break that would lift their spirits and make everything better. That much needed break did how ever come for the McCourt's. It came when Frank realized that he needed to grow up fast and become a man. He took charge by getting a job, and making sure his family was taken care of. He grew up quite quickly. He made the decision that he would perceiver that he would not fail. That is exactly what it took for a family to live in Ireland. Throughout this novel Frank shows dedication, perseverance and love toward himself and his family. Frank McCourt was known as a fighter, a fighter who believes that life could always be better, not only for himself, but for everyone.