Angela's Ashes

Frank McCourt

Author's Purpose

Angela's Ashes was a way for Frank McCourt to express to readers his hard, impoverished childhood in the United States and Limerick, Ireland during the 1930's-40's. By writing this book, McCourt wants the reader to have a better understanding of the time period that he grew up in and that no matter how bad the situation may be in both your early years, or your later ones, that anyone can succeed and make something for themselves. There's no need to sit around and feel sorry for yourself when you have the means to try and change it for the good.

“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was of course, a miserable childhood. . . . Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.” . . . nothing can compare with the Irish version: the poverty; the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father; the pious defeated mother moaning by the fire; pompous priests; bullying schoolmasters; the English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long years." (pg.11)

The Catholic religion played a huge role throughout the book and McCourt tied it back into his childhood by implying how stressful it was to have so much religion forced onto a child that young especially when they don't have a say in the matter. to the people of Limerick, Catholicism is the superior of all religions and anyone who isn't an active Catholic is a disgrace.

"The master says it’s a glorious thing to die for the Faith and Dad says it’s a glorious thing to die for Ireland and I wonder if there’s anyone in the world who would like us to live." (pg 113.)

"..Will they think of those little pagans doomed forever for lack of baptism and knowledge of the Tue Faith? Little black babies denied knowledge of the Mystical Body of Christ? Limbo is packed with little black babies flying around and crying for their mothers because they'll never be admitted to the ineffable presence of our Lord and the glorious company of saints, martyrs, virgins." (pg.119)