Frank Mccourt's Angela's Ashes
Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes is a powerful and emotional memoir of his life from childhood through early adulthood. This book is a wonderfully inspired piece of work that emotionally attaches the reader through McCourt’s life experiences. Its effectiveness is primarily due to McCourt’s evolving ‘innocent-eye’ narrative technique. He allows the reader to experience his own life in a changeable form. Through this unique story telling technique, the reader is able to watch Frank grow and evolve. Between the ages of four, eleven and fourteen changes in his writing can be easily identified. It is evident that the written text, McCourt’s thoughts, and the resultant relationship with the reader evolve and become more complex during this part of his life. When describing his experiences at the age of four, McCourt's writing style is very much like a story told from a child’s perspective. He uses simple dialogue and a ‘tell it like it is’ approach: “We’re on the seesaw. Up, down, updown. Malachy goes up. I get off. Malachy goes down. Seesaw hits ground” (19). At this point, he demonstrated a basic, staccato-like sentence structure. McCourt presents information as if heard and interpreted by a child. On page38 Mrs. Leibowitz, a kind neighbour who lives in the same building as the McCourt family, says, “Nice Chewish name, have apiece of cake, eh? Why they give you a Chewish name, eh?” The reader knows that the word Jewish is spelled as it is heard and that this is typical of child interpretations. Just as simple dialogue is used throughout the book, so are simple pattern thoughts. Children have a tangible stream of consciousness and often have a tendency to change subject matter quickly throughout a conversation: “They have their tea…uncle Pa Keating, who is my uncle because he’s married to my aunt Aggie, picks up Eugene” (87). The reader already knows from previous information that Pa Keating is the children’s uncle. Just as children often...
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