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Angela's Ashes: A Memoir - Book Review

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Introduction

WIDE READING TASK #4 Lynsey Bramley. S5- Book review. 1. Angela's Ashes: A Memoir 2. Frank McCourt 3. Memoir/ 4. 14th of May -12th of July 5. Angela's Ashes is set in Brooklyn. New York and also Limerick, Ireland in the 1930's and 40's. 6. a) The narrator, Frank McCourt, describes how his parents meet in Brooklyn, New York. After his mother, Angela becomes pregnant with Frank; she marries Malachy, the father of her child. The family grows, and Angela struggles to feed her growing family of sons while Malachy spends his wages on alcohol. Frank's baby sister Margaret dies, and Angela becomes depressed. The McCourts decide to return to Ireland. Over a few years, Angela gives birth to two sons, Michael and Alphonsus. As Frank gets older, the story focuses on his life at school. When Frank turns ten, he is confirmed and soon after that he becomes ill with typhoid fever and stays in hospital for months. By the time Frank returns to school his gift for language is obvious. With the arrival of World War II, many fathers in Limerick go to England to find work and send money back to their families. ...read more.

Middle

Frank thinks a lot about the future, and in order for him to one day reach America he realises that he has to take quite a few dangerous risks. Angela is a humorous and loving mother, despite constant poverty, a criminally irresponsible husband and the death of three children. Angela must sacrifice a lot including her dignity in order to provide for her children but she still brings them up to be well behaved, morally aware, kind and hard-working men. It is clear that Angela is struggling to cope under highly difficult circumstances, by the decision and measures she takes to help her family. For example begging outside of church and sleeping with Laman Griffin, which Frank disapproved of but he still knows Angela's first priority is always her sons' welfare. Malachy treasures the times he spends chatting drinking tea with Frank by the fire. As Frank proudly says, Malachy has a lively imagination, a way with words and a flair for telling stories. Malachy can be considered as the rival of Angela's Ashes, because it is him that keeps the family in crippling hunger, and his children contracting diseases. ...read more.

Conclusion

9. Angela's Ashes is narrated in 1st person and in present tense, from the perspective of a young boy; the author writes as though he is experiencing things for the first time. The length of sentences/paragraphs and chapters vary a lot in the book. The author has used colloquial language because it is a true story and he is writing about his own life. The author hasn't used many 4-5 syllable words because he is writing from a perspective of a young boy growing up looking out on to the world, rather than as an adult looking back on his childhood. The author matches the tone to the age of the narrator, mainly humorous and matter-of-fact. The structure of the book is organised with chapters in sequence of events, the author, Frank McCourt is narrating. The author chose to narrate because it was a true story that happened to him so she had to narrate to tell the story. He didn't really choose a certain vocabulary as it is how he really was. 10. Overall I think Angela's Ashes was great book, it was depressing to read about a family that suffered so much but at the same time rewarding to know that he got threw it and became a wonderful writer. Rating: 7/10 ...read more.

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