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Book Report: Reader's Reflection on Angela’s Ashes

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Narrator: a voice inside the story

Point of view: First Person



Quote: When Franks mom got angry at her husband she said “I want ye to go back down to that pub and read him out of it. I want ye to stand in the middle of the pub and tell every man your father is drinking 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” (McCourt 179).

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Analysis: In this quote Franks mother gets mad at her husband because every time he earns money, he ends up spending it on whiskey or alcohol instead of food for the children.


In the book Angela’s Ashes, there are many characters in the book. Frank is one of the main characters in the book. He first introduces himself and as a young boy and starts to talk about his family. He’s only four years old at the time and has to grasp that his family is poor and that there won’t be much to eat unless his father gets paid. He wants to help his family get through the struggles that they are going through with being poor, even though he is only four years old. He wants to take care of his younger brothers when his mom ends up becoming ill. He wants to become the man of the house. He feels sympathy and sadness for his brother twins when he says “We race the pram around the playground and the twins laugh and make goo-goo sounds till they get hungry and start to cry. There are two bottles in the pram filled with water and sugar and that keeps them quiet for a while till they’re hungry again and they cry so hard I don’t know what to do because they’re so small and I wish I could give them all kinds of food so they’d laugh and make the baby sounds” (McCourt 31). Franks always wants to look out for his mother and the twins, but when one of the twins die, he comforts the other by keeping him busy. Instead of dwelling on the twin that just died. As the book continues Frank grows older. Even though he is older now, he still has the same mentality of keeping his family safe and taking care of them. He starts to look for jobs. He starts to recall the nights that his father would come home drunk and sing to the children. He doesn’t want to end up like him which gives him the motivation to look for that job. When he gets that job he feels a lot of pressure now. With being the only child providing for his family, he thinks he had to go to work and get the money for his family. He ends up giving most of the money he makes to Angela. He then shifts attitudes of always wanting to provide for his family to feeling pressure and worries about the future. He then starts to drink his money instead of giving it to the family. Soon enough he has a fight or fall out with his mom and ends up moving in with his uncle.

In the book Angel’s Ashes there is a common theme and that common theme is to not let alcohol and drugs get the best of you. Thought the book the men in the family end up drinking whiskey all the time, especially the father. In the book frank talks about his father drinking whiskey when he says “When we go home Mam makes tea and bread and jam or mashed potatoes with butter and salt. Dad drinks the tea and eats nothing. Mam says, God above, How can you work all day and not eat? He says, The tea is enough. She says, You’ll ruin your health, and he tells her again that food is a shock to the system (McCourt 25). Here they use “tea” as a replacement for the words whiskey do the kids don’t know the there father drinks whiskey all the time. The father ends up drinking it all the time which ends up making the mom of the house angry and frustrated with him all the time. Frank talks about the starvation they had when he says “There may be a lack of tea or bread in the house but Mam and Dad always manage to get the fags, the Wild Woodbines. They have to have the Woodbines in the morning and anytime they drink tea. They tell us every day we should never smoke, it’s bad for your lungs, it’s bad for your chest, it stunts your growth, and they sit by the fire puffing away” (McCourt 154). Franks is calling his mother and father hypocrites here because even though they tall the kids to not smoke or drink, they both do it anyways right infant of all of them. This ends up being the reason Frank has a fall out with his mother. He ends up being like his father with drinking whiskey all the time instead of helping his family out.

In the book Angelas Ashes it starts out with a young boy that is about four years old introducing himself and his family. He has a mother, father, and twin brothers. He first talks about how his mother and father meet and end up getting married in New York. His dad is a drunk and is always drinking whiskey at the pub. That ends up taking a huge tole of the family. Instead of giving some of his earnings to his wife, he ends up going to the pub and drinking it all. That ends up leading to the children starving. They get barley any food because of their father. He describes his childhood as miserable and never wants to go back to it. The story ends up going back in time to tell the story of how his mothers and fathers life were different before they met and before they even got married. He first starts off with his father saying how he committed a crime and escaped off to America to avoid being killed. Then he goes on to his mother and how she was born and raised as a Limerick Slum. She ends up migrating to America where she finds his father and falls in love with him and has the children. As Frank grows older he ends up turning 10 and is turning or becoming a christian. Right after that Frank grows ill and has typhoid and ends up being in the hospital for months on end. Since he is in the hospital for so long he then falls into the writings of Shakespeare. He is interested in the story that Shakespeare has from the newspapers to the movies. When Franks goes back to school his teacher notices smelting about Franks. She notices that he has an eye for english and literature. He ends up being gifted. His perks of storytelling is what got the teacher to notice him and his interest. Then comes WWII. As they are in the mists of world war 2, many fathers in the women of Limerick go to find new jobs in England. Even though his father goes to England for work and for money to give back to his family, he fails at giving money back to his family. This then falls on Frank to get a job and provide for his family. He feels a sense of integrity and responsibility of being the man of the house which he likes. Although everything is staring to look up, they get evicted. Frank and his family end up moving in with Angela’s Cousin whose name is Laman. When Frank works at the messenger boy, he ends up having a girlfriend or sexual relations with a customer there. She ends up dead for the cause of an illness which leaves Franks heartbroken and feeling of loneliness. Franks ends up getting ticket to New York as he wants to start a new life there. Frank is looking up for a better future.

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Book Report: Reader’s Reflection on Angela’s Ashes. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 30, 2023, from
“Book Report: Reader’s Reflection on Angela’s Ashes.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2022,
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