Angelas Ashes

analytical Essay
681 words
681 words

Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt is a genuine memoir that vividly tells the story of a young, Irish Catholic boy during the 1930’s and early 1940’s. Frank’s memory of his impoverished childhood is difficult to accept, however, he injects a sense of devilish humor into his biography. He creates a story where the readers watch him grow beyond all odds and live through the pinnacle of the miserable Irish Catholic childhood. “People everywhere brag and whimper about the woes of their early years, but nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty, the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying schoolmasters; the English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long years”(McCourt 11). His interaction with his family proves that despite the hunger and pain, love and strength come out of misery. Although the book tells the experience of an individual, the story itself is universal.

Born in Brooklyn in 1930 to recent Irish immigrants Malachy and Angela McCourt, Frank grew up in Limerick after his parents returned to Ireland because of poor prospects in America. Due to the Great Depression, Malachy could not find work in America. However, things did not get any better back in Ireland for Malachy. A chronically unemployed and nearly unemployable alcoholic, he appears to be the model on which many of our more insulting cliches about drunken Irish manhood are based. Week after week, Angela would be home expecting her husband to come home with money to eat, but Malachy always spent his wages on pints at local pubs. Frank’s father would come home late at night and make his sons get out of bed and sing patriotic songs about Ireland by Roddy McCorley and Kevin Barry, who were hung for their country. Frank loved his father and got an empty feeling in his heart when he knew his father was out of work again. Frank described his father as the Holy Trinity because there is three people in him, “The one in the morning with the paper, the one at night with the stories and prayers, and then the one who does the bad thing and comes home with the smell of whiskey and wants us to die for Ireland” (McCourt 210). Even when there was a war going on and English agents were recruiting Irishmen to work in their munitions factories, Malachy could not keep a job when he traveled to England.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how frank mccourt's book, angela’s ashes, tells the story of a young irish catholic boy during the 1930s and early 1940s.
  • Analyzes how frank grew up in limerick after his parents returned to ireland because of poor prospects in america. he was a chronically unemployed and nearly unemployable alcoholic who was the model on which many insulting cliches about drunken irish manhood are based.
  • Analyzes how frank shows his courage and humanity by surviving through all the horror he has experienced. his twin brothers, oliver and eugene, and his sister, margaret, died from lack of nourishment and care.
  • Concludes that frank examined his ferocious childhood and told a story so honest it is deeply moving. the book is both hilarious and heartbreaking because of how frank deals with the situations he is faced with.
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