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...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document