Frank McCourt grows up in a family so large and poorly taken care of that he and his siblings often go days without food, and poverty is a huge part of his experience growing up. Because Frank’s father, Malachy Sr., is too drunk and lazy to get a reliable job, the McCourts turn to other methods for making money and surviving. In the course of their struggle to make ends meet, they’re forced to…(read full theme analysis)
Although the characters of Angela’s Ashes are poor and desperate, they’re surprisingly helpful and generous with each other. When Malachy Sr. and Angela McCourt are struggling to make ends meet, they’re often able to survive by turning to members of their extended family for help. In Ireland, where work and food are scarce, the family bond is exceptionally strong—a guarantee that, if there is any food, money, or shelter to be had, it will be…(read full theme analysis)
For the characters in Angela’s Ashes, life is—to use McCourt’s own word—miserable. The characters are often too poor to feed themselves, their children and loved ones die of horrible diseases, and there’s a general sense that their lives will never get any better. Why don’t the people of Limerick collapse in despair? How do they find happiness in their miserable lives?
The single most common way that people in Angela’s Ashes cope with sadness…(read full theme analysis)