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Angela's Ashes - brief plot summary

Uploaded by zizi_02 on Sep 07, 2001

In Angela’s Ashes, the author Frank McCourt gives his whole self in the telling of this story. It is his life’s journey- the hardship, horrors, pain and suffering that he endures.

Set in 1936, Angela’s Ashes follows the difficult lives of Angela McCourt, her husband, Malachy and their children. The oldest child of the family Frank McCourt was born into the worst kind of poverty in Brooklyn, New York. Frank and his family wore nothing more than rags and the little food they had came from the charity of kind people. His mother, Angela didn’t work and his father always drank his paycheck away. Even with out steady income to support one child, the McCourt family kept on growing extending to Malachy, Margaret, the twins- Eugene and Oliver, and eventually Michael and Alphonsus. Thus, beginning at a young age, Frank had the responsibility of tending to his brothers and sisters while his mother was desperately trying to find food to feed the family, and his father was getting drunk in the bars.

Although Frank’s father was not around for most of Frank’s life, Malachy did nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he could provide: a story. Throughout Angela’s Ashes Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain and The Angel on the Seventh Step, Frank’s very own angel who also brings his mother babies.

“Would the Angel on the Seventh Step tell you what to do, if
you didn’t know what to do?”
“He would son, he would. That’s the job of an angel. Even the one of the Seventh Step.”
I know he’s there because the seventh step feels warmer
Than the other steps…
(Pg.125)

After the death of Margaret, the McCourts move to Ireland where the situation only worsened. Frank’s father continued to drink the money away and most nights the family was left to starve.

“I want ye to stand in the middle of the pub and tell every
man your father is drinking away the money
for the baby. Ye are to tell the world there isn’t a scrap of food
in this house, not a lump of coal to start the fire,
not a drop of milk for the baby’s bottle.”
(Pg.183-184)

Life for the McCourts was testing and difficult. The children wore rags for diapers, Malachy and Frank wore torn shoes in the winter, and Angela was forced to gather scraps of coal and paper from the roadside just to light a fire. Frank’s mother, Angela...

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Uploaded by:   zizi_02

Date:   09/07/2001

Category:   Literature

Length:   4 pages (814 words)

Views:   1820

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