As everyday life goes on, human beings are constantly faced with challenges that require sacrifices. In Frank McCourt’s memoir titled Angela’s Ashes, he talks about the constant battles his family has with life. He faces issues that no child should have to deal with leading up to his adolescent years: deaths, poverty, hunger, and toil. McCourt titled this memoir as a tribute to remember his mother’s unremarkable suffering. His purpose demonstrates that regardless of the experiences one goes through, it is critical to understand that life must go on and recuperation is part of life. McCourt’s use of tone in the memoir is a perfect combination of bitter, but quite inviting to keep the reader absorbed. McCourt uses tactile, olfactory, and visual imagery to identify the challenges his family goes through; his purpose is for the readers to identify themselves in similar situations and to let them know everything will work out for the better in the end.
Throughout the memoir, there are several circumstances the family undergoes; one significant disruption is the deaths of several family members. In the first chapter, McCourt introduces the situation in which his parents meet and were practically forced into marriage. Angela, Frank’s mother, was pregnant and her cousins suggested marrying was the only option so she would not be looked down upon society. McCourt lived in New York with his family, but moved back to their native land, Ireland, shortly after his baby sister, Margaret, passed away and Angela fell into a deep depression. His use of asyndeton creates a run-on list of his struggles such as “…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 [Irish] for eight hundred long years” (11). The readers can visually construct the image of a beaten mother sitting by the fire place