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Angela's Ashes Commentary. Angelas Ashes written by Frank McCourt is a criticism of Irish culture in the mid-20th century.

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Introduction

Commentary: Angela's Ashes. Angela's Ashes written by Frank McCourt is a criticism of Irish culture in the mid-20th century. McCourt explores the methods people utilise to escape their reality. He also delves into the role of religion in his hometown of Limerick. Finally, he looks at the bitterness and pessimism ground into his people from childhood. McCourt demonstrates how people attempt to escape their reality through various means in Limerick. Rain in the extract can be interpreted as a symbol for the reality which the members of Limerick, a microcosm for Ireland, are constantly trying to escape. One method of escape mentioned in the extract is alcohol. The text suggests that a significant quantity of the towns working male population drinks excessively at the pub to the point of vomiting up all the drinks that they have bought that night in order to escape their reality. This is evident where the McCourt writes, "Where many a man puked up his week's wages." ...read more.

Middle

McCourt exhibits how the roughness of life in Ireland drives people to look for means of escaping that reality and finding peace for however a short amount of time. The extract also discusses the role of religion in Ireland. McCourt suggests that religion is a fa�ade put on by the people to seem pious. This becomes evident when he states, "Limerick gained a reputation for piety, but we knew it was only the rain." The author puts forward that it was merely the rain which drove people into churches by contrasting how something is seen in comparison to how something really is. However with rain as a symbol for the harsh life in Limerick, it can be proposed that McCourt is suggesting that people turn to religion as an escape opposed to the thought of religious devotion. Conversely it can be noted that religion still plays a major role in life in Ireland and particularly Limerick. Beginning from childhood, McCourt's mother had been a pious woman and he had been subjected to priests in his day to day life. ...read more.

Conclusion

Instead, they returned to Ireland when I was four." McCourt puts his opinion forward very quickly and shows how even now when he looks back upon his childhood, he still believes that New York would be a better place to grow up. McCourt emphasises how tough his childhood was in the second paragraph by contrasting it to other childhoods. This is evident when McCourt states, "Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood". He uses accumulation to show how his childhood is worse than the other childhoods. McCourt looking back puts a negative association on his childhood and shows how miserable he was in his childhood. McCourt shows how Irish society has fallen with many in the population searching for nothing more than an escape from their harsh lives using alcohol and religion as means of doing so. He also shows how difficult childhood in Ireland was and uses it to show how things may never change if it becomes a cycle. ...read more.

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