Angelas Ashes Essay, Research Paper
I think that Angela’s Ashes relates to the historical theme of Change, Cooperation and conflict, relation to
environment, and movement. This novel was a memior about Frank McCourt and all the hardships that he endured.
He had to deal with the deaths in his family, his way of living, his family’s poverty and his father’s
alcoholism. Thorughout this novel there are many things which bring the feeling of sadness to the reader’s mind.
There were many changes in his life, in the beginning there are six family members. Suddenly, a new girl is born
Margaret. Margaret excites the entire family because she is the only girl with her brothers Frank, Malachy,Oliver and
Eugene ( the twins). Soon Margaret is not well and dies unexpectedly. Next the twins die. There are a total of 3
deaths in the first chapterof the novel, so you can see how these deaths bring suffering to the family. I took this idea
as a Change & movement, there is a change in there family. After Margaret dies Malachy and Angela decide to move
back to Ireland to live a better life but instead it changes and they lead a worse life.
Another aspect of Movement was that Frank’s dream was to move to America. Franky decides when he
is fourteen that he will be able to save up enough money to move back to America by the time he is eighteen. He
works very hard but is forced to give most of his money to his mother for food. When his father leaves, Frank
becomes the man of the house and is forced to feed the family. He cooperates with his mother to make it through
the hard times. Well this isn’t exactly a war but, it is a conflict between life an death (hunger).
By having to deal with their way of living I mean that they didn’t live in a very clean environment. Well
they did live in the ghetto. They could have lived with Angela’s mother but unfortunately she did not accept her
Son-in-law. She always mentioned that he was a protestant plus he was from the north part of Ireland and it
was a disgrace that her daughter had married him. Catholics and Protestents don’t agree with eachother.
Well, Angela and her family lived in a house near the “putrid smells” of the lavatory that was used by the entire
street to empty their chamber pots. They could only afford to live in a house of bad conditions. Their beds were
full of fleas, they changed and washed their clothes once every month, they sometimes had to go through trash
cans to look for food.
The People of Limmerick, Ireland, where the family mainly resides, have many strong prejudices against
the poor. The family is constantly tormented because of shabby clothes or poor housing and having to ask
charities for help. The store managers try to cheat the poor out of the full amount of food they are to be given.
Also, the religious of Limmerick discriminate against poor children as in the case when Frank McCourt tries to
become an alter boy but is denied. Mrs.McCourt explains why he is denied by saying ” They don’t want boys
from lanes on the alter. Oh, no they want the nice boys with hair oil and new shoes that have fathers with suits
and ties and steady jobs”(149). The McCourt family is constantly aware of the discrimination it faces because
of the poverty they live in. I relate this to Realtion to the environment.