’s Ashes Essay, Research Paper Angela’s Ashes Informal Essay on Angela?s Ashes Angela?s Ashes is a moving book full of poverty, suffering, and death that shows that no matter how difficult

’s Ashes Essay, Research Paper

Angela’s Ashes

Informal Essay on Angela?s Ashes Angela?s Ashes is a moving book full of

poverty, suffering, and death that shows that no matter how difficult

things seem, the hard tines can always be overcome. Angela and Malachy

McCourt, both Irish, were married in America after a passionate night

together that ended up producing their first son, Francis(or Frank as

introduced to the reader). Later, the couple had another son, twins, and

a daughter while living in a small apartment in New York. Margaret soon

died and the family moved to Ireland where their lives were only

worsened. Angela had two more children that lived, but the young twins

died. Malachy was an alcoholic who rarely held a job and spent his wages

at the pub instead of on his family. They were forced to beg for food

and other necessities because relatives were cruel and selfish. This

novel tells the tell of young Frank having to endure extreme poverty,

starvation, and a broken family with strength and courage. He eventually

raises enough money to go to America and break free from his depressing

childhood. In my opinion, the theme of this book is that no matter how

bad things seem to be, anyone can survive and become successful through

perseverance and determination. For example, Frank grew up in just about

the worst environment possible but was determined enough to get himself

to America and eventually become the author of a Pulitzer Prize winning

novel! Frank achieved his goals by taking any extra jobs that he could

find and saving every penny possible until he could finally afford his

passage to America. Because his father never brought home any money,

Frank supported the family with what little wages he earned at his job

and was determined to make a good life for himself, his brothers, and

his poor mother. Frank learned to depend upon no one but himself and his

determination to succeed won him a new life in America where he now

lives happily married. I noticed numerous literary devices present

throughout the book. One such device is the use of apostrophe.

Apostrophe is used continuously when Frank speaks to the angel on the

seventh step and also when he and his parents speak to the dead children

such as Eugene, Oliver, and Margaret. The story is told from the point

of view of Frank as he grows from a young boy of about three or four to

a young man at nineteen. This point of view is especially effective

because it shows how he feels about his experiences as he ages and how

he felt at that exact time. His views change as he grows and his naivete

vanishes. He becomes a stronger, smarter person with the reader

following along. I also noticed frequent use of imagery. Frank describes

his eyes when they are infected with ?red and yellow oozing? out of

them. Vivid images are also used to describe the putrid smells in their

house next to the lavatory that was used by the entire street to empty

their chamber pots. McCourt also chooses to write very often in the

diction of the old Irish language. This word choice adds to the mood of

the book and attempts to bring the reader into Ireland. The book is also

packed with humor. For instance, when the boys were playing outside,

McCourt said that the women stand because ?all they do is take care of

the children, clean the house, and cook? but the men sit because the

spend their time ?discussing the problems of the world and wondering

what to do with the rest of the day?(107). This is a humorous, almost

satirical look at the traditional male-female roles in a family. Humor

is also used while Frank waits for the angel on the seventh step and his

naivete as a young boy. McCourt?s novel is filled with wonderful,

descriptive images that help to shape his fascinating tale from poverty

to success.