Angela Ashes Essay

2087 WordsOct 9, 20119 Pages
Kerrin Keiser Angela’s Ashes Essay 9/3/2010 The novel by Frank McCourt, Angela’s Ashes, is a memoir about his childhood living in poverty-stricken Ireland, and the hardships he endured. “It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”- (Frank McCourt). Frank McCourt experienced many horrible and often traumatic events during his childhood, such as hunger, poverty, family death, and the complications of having an alcoholic father. As the reader continues on through the book, they come to understand just what the miserable, Irish, Catholic childhood is. “The happy childhood is hardly worth your while”, Frank’s childhood was anything but happy, and yet as he grew from a young boy to a young man, these events shaped him into the great man he would become. One constant throughout the novel is hunger. Hunger taught Frank to utilize any opportunity or situation that arose for his benefit, whether it was food, education, or a job. Frank’s father was always out of a job, and as a result, the family suffered. The living conditions were not very sanitary, Frank and his younger brothers were constantly running around half naked. The twins Eugene and Oliver didn’t even have proper diapers, and wore simple cloths that were rarely washed. As a result, disease would take the lives of Frank’s baby sister Margaret, and later on when the family moved to Ireland, disease from the nearby river would take the lives of the twins. Despite the horrible and traumatic circumstances of the children’s’ deaths, the fear of losing yet another family member to disease or starvation drove Frank and his mother to do whatever was necessary to obtain food for survival. For example, upon moving to their new home in

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