Free Essays - Angela’s Ashes

Free Essays - Angela’s Ashes

Length: 561 words (1.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓


Angela’s Ashes

 In Frank McCourt’s memoir Angela’s Ashes, the connection between tone, syntax, and point of view combine to create an effective balance of humor and pathos.  This is shown through the perspective of little Frank McCourt.  Sometimes it is human nature to try to make a tragedy seem better than it is in order to go on with our lives.  Frank’s struggle to make his situation as a poor, Catholic, Irish boy more bearable, is demonstrated through the positive tone, powerful syntax and childlike point of view.


Humor and pathos come together when Frank steals bananas from the Italian, but later the same Italian gives him a bag of fruit.  Frank knows that he can’t buy the bananas and he knows also the Italian won’t give them away seen when Frank says; “ Italians are not known for giving away bananas” (p.35).  We can see the humor in the theft as the “ twins slobber and chew and spread bananas over their faces, their hair, their clothes” (p.36).  The tragedy is that the McCourt kids are poor and have to resort to begging and stealing to survive.  When the author uses such words such as “slobber” (p.36), “little buddas” (p.36), he is trying to make an intolerable situation more bearable and enjoyable to the reader.


 When the McCourts are at their new home, two weeks before Christmas, the children come home and find the whole downstairs flooded.  They decide that they will stay up stairs, which they call “Italy” (p.118), and the downstairs “Ireland” (p.118).  The humor in this tragedy is the house is so run down that water leaks in and floods the bottom.  Instead of suffering and complaining about the house they move upstairs and make the best out of it and try to live normally.  The reader should find this funny from the way the family talks about it, they try to make the situation more bearable by adding a sense of humor.  They leave the “Pope” (p.118) downstairs because Angela doesn’t “ want him on the wall glaring at me in the bed” (p.118).  The syntax used is to make the reader feel pity for the family when the whole downstairs is flooded but also the author wants to make the reader laugh when the family decides to lighten the situation by creating an adventurous illusion.


 One of the funnier moments is the scene where Frank pukes up the host and his Grandmother says she “ has God in her backyard” (p.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Free Essays - Angela’s Ashes." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Feb 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=13842>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt Essay

- Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt 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....   [tags: Frank McCourt Angela's Ashes]

Free Essays
1013 words (2.9 pages)

Essay Family is Crucial in Angela's Ashes by Frank M. McCourt

- Many people believe that the importance of family is crucial. The memoir Angela’s Ashes is written by Frank McCourt. It examines the poor upbringing and the relationships within the McCourt family during the 1930’s. Through the use of descriptive language, dialogue and characterisation, it supports and opposes various values including the importance of family and the impact it has on the relationships enclosed in the memoir. Family should be of the upmost importance. Through the use of characterisation Frank McCourt questions the significance of his family unit through the use of his selfish actions....   [tags: poverty, egocentric, memoir]

Research Papers
559 words (1.6 pages)

Angelas Ashes Essay

- Angela's Ashes Exposition: Characters: Francis McCourt- protagonist Malachy McCourt (father)- antagonist Angela McCourt (mother)- protagonist Malachy McCourt (brother)- protagonist Michael McCourt (brother)- static Alphie McCourt (brother)- static The Abbot (uncle)- protagonist Uncle Pa Keating (uncle)- protagonist Aunt Aggie (aunt)- antagonist Setting: In the poor part of Limerick, Ireland around 1938....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
644 words (1.8 pages)

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt Essay

- Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt "When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood." Thus begins the highly celebrated memoir by the name of Angela's Ashes, written by Frank McCourt. In this book Frank McCourt writes about his childhood, how his parents meet in New York and then decide to return to Ireland....   [tags: Frank McCourt Angela's Ashes]

Free Essays
958 words (2.7 pages)

Frank Mccourt 's Memoir, Angela 's Ashes Essay

- Frank McCourt’s memoir, Angela’s Ashes, reflects on the struggles and poverty stricken life he and his family faced in Limerick, Ireland. I have also felt the struggles of living in poverty, but not as harsh as Frank and his family experienced. Family issues and hardships can sometimes leave a positive or negative effect on rising adults within their lifetime, causing detrimental and lifetime damage. During the year of 2007, my family and I faced the hardest moments of our life. We just moved from Virginia to a small town apartment in Kingstree, South Carolina, with barley any money or income to start our new lives....   [tags: Family, Mother, Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes]

Research Papers
1180 words (3.4 pages)

Economic Discrimination in Frank McCourt's Angela’s Ashes Essay

- Economic Discrimination in Frank McCourt's Angela’s Ashes As Jerome K. Jerome once said, “It is easy enough to say that poverty is no crime. No; if it were men wouldn’t be ashamed of it. It is a blunder, though, and is punished as such. A poor man is despised the whole world over.” This famous quote describes the way poor people are discriminated against and despised around the world by those who are better off. In the novel Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt, the characters are greatly discriminated against by all different parts of society because of their poverty....   [tags: Angela Ashes Essays]

Research Papers
1414 words (4 pages)

The Theme of Religion in Angela’s Ashes Essay

- The Theme of Religion in Angela’s Ashes Throughout the novel, religion is presented as being of extreme importance in Irish society, influencing the beliefs and actions of the characters. I will attempt to highlight the several factors which I believe make up the presentation of religion in “Angela’s Ashes”. From the beginning of the book, religion is said to make up a large part of the unhappy childhood Frank suffered. The following quote shows the extent of Frank’s sentiments: “Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood, is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood” The quote above portrays the crescendo of negative emotion, describing the w...   [tags: Angela's Ashes Irish Society Religion Essays]

Research Papers
2384 words (6.8 pages)

The Sadness of Poverty in Frank McCourt's Angela’s Ashes Essay

- The Sadness of Poverty in Frank McCourt's Angela’s Ashes “It is not the rich man you should properly call happy, but him who knows how to use with wisdom the blessings of the gods, to endure hard poverty, and who fears dishonor worse than death, and is not afraid to die for cherished friends or fatherland.” In the novel Angela's Ashes, (1996) by Frank McCourt, a life of poverty is the only life this family knows. It is a memoir about a young boy born in New York City. Frank, born ten months prior to his brother Malachy, was raised in a small apartment with his parents, Angela and Malachy McCourt....   [tags: Frank McCourt Angela’s Ashes]

Research Papers
1361 words (3.9 pages)

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

- 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....   [tags: Angela’s Ashes]

Research Papers
1439 words (4.1 pages)

Analysis of Angela's Ashes Narrated by Frank McCourt Essay

- Analysis of Angela's Ashes Narrated by Frank McCourt Angela's Ashes: A Memoir is Frank McCourt's acclaimed memoir. It charts the author's childhood from his infant years in Brooklyn, through his impoverished adolescence in Limerick, Ireland, to his return to America at the age of nineteen. First published in 1996, McCourt's memoir won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize in the category of best Biography/Autobiography, and has gone on to become a worldwide bestseller. McCourt, who for many years taught writing in a New York public high school, waited for over forty years to write about his troubled youth....   [tags: Angela's Ashes Memoirs Frank McCourt Essays]

Research Papers
4634 words (13.2 pages)

Related Searches

159).  Frank really takes advantage of this situation when his mother tries to make little Frank happy by saying “ wash God away with a little water” (p.159).  This is a scene where humor is used to ease the tension of a bad situation later when the Grandmother refuses to talk or help out the family.


 In conclusion, humor is used to ease the pain of an extreme situation.  This memoir uses humor a lot to release the anguish of growing up like Frank McCourt did.  Franks lived through the hardships of growing up a poor, Catholic, Irish boy in the times of the great depression, and he wants the reader not to feel so bad by adding a sense of humanity to the story.  So he uses the powerful syntax, positive tone, and a childlike point of view to make the memoir a better but serious truth to it.
Return to 123HelpMe.com