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Angela's Ashes


Submitted By priveralec
Words 736
Pages 3
Rivera 1
Rivera 1
Paola Rivera
Wld Lit O
Ms. Ziemlak
Monday, November 28, 2011

Angela’s Ashes Questions:

1. I liked Angela’s Ashes a lot; I thought it was a very powerful literary text. The moment when Frank says, “ Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is a miserable Irish Catholic childhood” (6). At this moment I immediately could recognize that Angela’s Ashes was going to be an emotional memoir of the author’s life. I enjoyed the fact that this was a bildungsroman novel, meaning it was a coming-of-age novel. In being this type of novel we see how Frank evolves from a naïve boy into a man who is surely to prove nothing like his father. 2. Through the novel, I was able to identify the following themes: Drinking in Irish culture, Hunger and Food, Antagonism between Presbyterians vs. Catholics, Poverty, and Honor. Drinking in Irish culture, is seen as a way to escape the hardships of Irish life, Frank’s father uses this as an excuse to keep drinking, and he is also motivated by others to do so. Hunger and the value of food is one of the most important themes, given that a lot of the suffering the McCourt’s have to go through id the scarcity of food. Since their dad is an alcoholic who can’t keep a job, the kids usually suffered from sever hunger all the time, their dad would rather spend the little money he earned on a pint, and what was left was used on cigarettes for him and Angela. The Antagonism between the Catholics vs. Presbyterians is made crystal clear when Malachy meets Angela’s family, and when Angela meets his. Both families resent one another’s spouses. Through the next chapters, we see how everyone seems to point out the fact that Frankie is half Presbyterian, half Catholic, and most resent him for it. Poverty is the major theme in this novel; unfortunately the McCourt’s suffer from extreme poverty and don’t live a stable life. They live in the slums of Limerick, nobody’s land, and their “house” was constantly Rivera 2
Rivera 2 flooded in the first floor. The McCourt’s only got around because they begged others for money, Malachy always managed to lose his job, and since Angela was a woman she would not be taken seriously if applying for a job. Honor is a theme shown through Malachy. In one scene Malachy says that there was family was not one of beggars and that he would not pick up coal from the ground, Angela ignores his pride and still picks it up. 3. The character I liked best was Frankie, I love how innocent he was at the beginning and how managed to transcend into the man he became. I love his sense of humor and his perspective on life. He also made me aware of how poor Ireland really is, and that it is not a place full of leprechauns and lucky cloves. My least favorite character was Franks father, Malachy. I completely hated him when instead of using the money he got for his newborn child; he spent it on getting wasted. I disliked how bad a father he was, promising his children they would get tons of food, and it turned out to be a lie. He was also a horrible husband, he wasn’t dependable, and was not the ideal man that Angela needed. 4. In this novel the setting is important because it changes according to what is happening. In opaque and sad situations it is always raining, and when it was good day it was sunny. McCourt makes very vivid descriptions of the scenery, and makes you feel as if you were really there. The setting also helps to establish the atmosphere that is essential to the text’s realism. The Limerick slums help to set the mood of the book. 5. Rivera 3
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I do not believe the ending of the story was satisfying. I wish there was more, there are so many questions unanswered. I think the author built so much intensity for a disappointing ending. The novel is a great read, but if being judged on it’s ending, I think it should have been more interesting. I did do research and found out there is a sequel to this novel, which in case of, the ending is acceptable.

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