Symbolism of the Red Flapper Dress in Angela's Ashes

Topics: Association football, Roaring Twenties, Blessed Virgin Mary Pages: 3 (1103 words) Published: December 28, 2010
In Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, the symbol of Angela’s red flapper dress highlights the pain of lost dreams. This symbol is very important because it highlights Angela’s youthful dreams, the beginning of Frank’s dreams and also how Angela’s dreams end. Frank uses Angela’s red dress to make uniforms for a soccer game against the rich kids. During the game, Frank scores a goal to win the game. This goal gives him hope that he will amount to something. Using Angela’s dress for uniforms shows the sacrifice of her dreams to make new dreams for Frank. It opens his eyes to new hope and a new outlook on his dreams. In Angela’s Ashes, the red dress represents Angela’s youth and dancing days. The dress is kept locked away in a trunk with important papers from her life. Keeping the dress with passports, birth certificates and her marriage certificate shows how important the dress is to Angela. Frankie remembers the dress in the trunk as “…her bright red flapper dress with spangles and black frills she brought all the way from America. She wants to keep that dress forever to remind herself she was young and dancing” (252). A flapper dress was worn during the Roaring Twenties. The Roaring Twenties were a time of fun, parties, dancing, jazz music and economic prosperity. Because Angela owned a flapper dress, she probably went to parties and enjoyed dancing before she went to America. Life was better for her than when she got older and was married with children. Mr. Clohessy tells Frankie “…I knew your mother well. Danced with her…danced with her I did below in the Wembley Hall and a champion dancer she was too” (164). This tells you that Angela was once a happy, carefree girl who enjoyed dancing. This time in her life was full of dreams and hope for the future. Saving the dress was a sign of those good times. Mr. Clohessy also makes Angela cry for her lost dreams when he says: “We could have won competitions, Angela. Fred and Ginger would have been lookin’ over their...
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