Angela's Ashes

Essay by ebrockCollege, UndergraduateA+, October 2014

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Elizabeth Butkos

Angela's Ashes

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt is a memoir that describes the first nineteen years of Frank's life. Including the seemingly endless hardships and strife he must face starting as soon as he was brought into the world. Throughout this memoir, Frank deals with more loss and despondency than most people will have to face over their entire lifetime. Despite this, Frank's strength and determination is what eventually leads him out of the damp, hopeless land of Limerick, Ireland and on to the coast of America. Frank is let down time after time. However, he always manages to pick himself back up and keep moving forward.

Death is something that Frank is exposed to at a very young age. Numerous of his siblings die, as well as many other loved ones. The first death Frank deals with is that of his baby sister, Margaret. After Margaret's death, Frank's mother withdraws herself completely and spends her days lying in bed facing the wall.

Frank is only four at the time, but he becomes responsible for feeding and taking care of his younger brothers. (McCourt 24,25) Soon after, the family moves to Ireland where death is extremely common due to the constant dampness in the air causing many people to get Tuberculosis. His brother Oliver dies soon after their arrival in Ireland, and six months after Oliver's death, his twin, Eugene also dies. At this point Frank has become almost impartial to death. This is portrayed in his response to Eugene's death "He died anyway." (82) Throughout the book, there is only one death that really has a significant effect on Frank, and that is Teresa's. He loses his virginity to her and she is also the first girl he truly loves. "I know that with all the people...