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Angela’s Ashes - Frank McCourt's Love/Hate Relationship with his Father

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Angela’s Ashes - Frank McCourt's Love/Hate Relationship with his Father

Angela’s Ashes is a memoir of Frank McCourt’s childhood and the

difficulties he faced whilst growing up. His family were very poor and

moved from America to Limerick to try and live an easier life. Frank’s

father was constantly out of a job and never had enough money to

support his family.

Frank and his father have a very interesting relationship. Throughout

the book, Frank constantly changes the way he feels for his father.

There are times when Frank completely despises him and others where he

idolises him. At the beginning of the book, Frank explains that

Malachy was “the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father,” giving the

reader a bad impression of him. As the story moves on, there are

several places where you can see that Frank loves his father, despite

all the hard times he has put him and his family through.

Malachy is constantly out of a job, leaving his family to survive on

their own through poverty. He uses every single penny they have at the

pubs; it drives Frank mad and he loses all respect for him. Frank

completely loathes his father when he upsets his mother. He makes her

angry which Frank cannot stand.

“My heart is banging away in my chest and I don’t know what to do

because I know I’m raging inside like my mother”.

Malachy comes home drunk so often; the three boys know exactly what’s

going on and what they have to do.

“We know Dad has done the bad thing and we know you can make anyone

suffer by not talking to him.

” Frank knew what his father deserved for making his mother unhappy

and didn’t hesitate to ignore him when he’d done the ‘bad thing’.

As they couldn’t rely on Malachy, Frank knew it was his j...

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...wever, the only

time he despised and hated him was when he was under the influence of

the drink. Malachy would use the money for his addiction but nothing

else. If Malachy did not have a drinking problem, he would probably do

anything for his children. When he wasn’t drunk, Malachy had so much

love and care for his children and would give them anything. The books

leaves the reader with a warm, affection their love for one another is

and this impression leaves you to overlook the previous feelings you

had for Malachy as an incompetent father.

Frank loved him so much and cherished the moments he spent with him.

He looked up to him with much admiration. Frank loved spending time

with him and idolised him. Frank only hated his father for keeping his

mother and brothers in crippling hunger but loved him when he was

sober, and trying to look after the family.
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