Angela's Ashes

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade October 2001

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In Pulitzer Prize winning, Angela's Ashes, a memoir, Frank McCourt demonstrates his ability to provoke healthy and thoughtful laughter throughout his seemingly depressing work. How, as a young boy, Frank survives - is still a phenomenon that plagues and questions even the most spiritual of readers. Whether it be by act of God, or sheer luck and good fortune, the reader is wholeheartedly listening and learning as Frank teaches his childish art of thoughtful laughter.

As a youth, Frank, lighthearted and as innocent as ever, looks at his portion of life in a day to day journey. Frank takes the smallest things to heart, instead of looking at the whole picture. He looks at personal triumphs and mischievous acts in a boyish sense. Instead of recognizing the entire picture, like the ramshackle houses and the deteriorating surroundings. Frank looks at Angela ( his mother) distantly throughout the novel. She loves Frank, and relies on Frank later during the novel, but there always remains a certain distance that is present in their relationship.

She always puts her family and herself in strenuous positions ~ by having another child, being ill and useless, by being submissive to other men ( Laman Griffin) or not taking charge of her home.

" I want ye to go back down to that pub and read him out of it.

I want ye to stand in the middle of the pub and tell every man your father is drinking the money for the baby. Ye are to tell the world there isn't a scrap of food in this house, not a lump of coal to start the fire, not a drop of milk for the baby's bottle." For a long period of time, Frank would pray to the "angel on the seventh step " for...



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