Harstonge Street Chapter Summaries

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Angela decides to move her family from Harstonge Street to a house on Roden Lane, because the room on Harstonge Street reminds her too much of Eugene. The St. Vincent de Paul Society gives the family some secondhand furniture. When they move into their new place, the McCourts discover that eleven families use the lavatory that’s built next to their house. Malachy wants to hang up his picture of Pope Leo XIII, whom he identifies as a friend of the workingman. While driving a nail into the wall to hang the picture, he cuts his hand and drips blood onto the picture. Angela despairs at the reduced sixteen shillings a week that the family has to live on. Because Eugene and Oliver have died, the family gets less money from public assistance. Malachy McCourt Sr. takes himself off on long walks into the countryside and looks for…show more content…
The family moves into the upstairs room, which they nickname “Italy” because it is warm and dry. Angela goes to the butcher’s to get meat for Christmas, but all she is able to obtain with her grocery dockets is a pig’s head. As they carry home the meat, Frank’s classmates see them and laugh at their poverty. Frank’s father is disgusted that Frank had to carry the head home. He considers carrying things through the streets undignified, and refuses to do it himself. On Christmas morning, Malachy and Frank attend Mass with their father and go to collect leftover coal strewn over the Dock Road so that their mother can cook the pig’s head. Pa Keating meets the boys on the street and convinces the landlord of South’s pub to give them a bag of real coal. They drag the coal home through the rain, passing cozy houses. Children laugh at them from inside the houses, taunting them and calling them “Zulus” because they are smeared with black coal. When they get home, Angela cooks the pig’s head, and the family has a jolly Christmas

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