Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt: Review

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In this hard world where winning is more important than participating you would sometimes almost forget to be generous from time to time. But when I read Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt I got a completely different view on generosity and the importance of it. This memoir is about the miserable Irish Catholic childhood of the writer. And I think that after this essay you will see that acts of generosity can make the lives of the poor better and that those people afterwards can also help other poor people. Firstly, it were rough times for the McCourt family. Dad -Malachy- was drinking the dole, the family lived in a bad house and children kept dying. The only way the McCourt’s could keep their heads above water was getting help from others. One thing that helped them in their struggle for survival was the St. Vincent the Paul Society. On page 79 they get help for the first time. I quote “The man in the middle says he’s giving Mam a docket to get a week’s groceries at McGrath’s shop on Parnell Street. There will be tea, sugar, flour, milk, butter and a separate docket for a bag of coal from Sutton’s coal yard on the Dock road.” In my opinion this is generous because I think that generosity means to help someone without gaining profit from it yourself and the St. Vincent de Paul Society doesn’t get anything back for this. That this gift of the St. Vincent de Paul Society is very helpful for the McCourt’s is confirmed by this “Mam wipes her face at the back of her sleeve and takes the docket. She tells the men, God bless you for your kindness”(page 79). Even though they get some support from the St. Vincent de Paul Society the McCourt family didn’t have enough to be very happy or to not have hunger. Therefore it is very good that others also helped the family sometimes. Another gift that I found generous was that some shopkeepers also gave food to the family for free. “A few shopkeepers give bread, potatoes, tins of beans...” (page 90). This, in my opinion, is very...
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