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  Grade 10 Reviews
  Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

Review by: Ryan B.
Alberta, Grade 10

Ireland is portrayed as a very dark and dreary place in Angela’s Ashes. Frank McCourt did an excellent job of bringing that world through the words and portrayed vivid enough as if I was living in that time when I read about Frank’s life. Mr. McCourt’s life story is told as if it were yesterday because you can feel the pain, sadness, and happiness his family and himself feel throughout their time in Limerick.

Frank’s family is a very complex bunch of people. Franks himself is very perseverant and a born leader. At a very young age he had seen the need of food and coal in his home so he took action and became the savior of his family time and time again. Frank’s mother is a gentle person and in my opinion did not deserve the horrendous life she life she lived because of the mistake of marrying Malachy. He on the other hand is a horrible person and should have been the one to ‘suffer in the streets of Limerick’. If he would not have spent the dole one “the pint” the McCourt family would have lived a totally alternate life. The twin brothers Eugene and Oliver and the sister Margaret may not have died not bringing the whole family in to their own self destruction.

Throughout the book you see the high importance of family within the McCourt household. Frank’s mother should half left Malachy because he was one of the main reasons their family struggled so much in life. But I believe that she didn’t leave him for the sake of Frank and the other boys. Even though Malachy was such a terrible father I believe that he was somewhat of a role model to the boys. They learned good and bad from him.

I believe that song’s from Kevin Barry and other songs that mother sang had a very important impact on all of the boys. When father came home singing songs by Kevin Barry something has either gone good in his day or he just spent the families dole on the dreaded “pint”. Other songs like the ones mother sang were usually sung on happy occasions or to sooth the mood when something terrible has happened. All and all I think the songs had a deeper meaning then just words sung to pass time for entertainment.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book due to the fact that the McCourt had such great personalities and really knew how to live life even through the rough times. The way they played jokes and were always trying to have fun in the lanes of Limerick made their dreary life a little more enjoyable. I also liked reading about the special bond the McCourt family members had with each other. No matter what happened in life they would not give up on each other and found a way to get over the rough patch. There is also a special use of some words in this book that just made an interesting connection to the real object. By this I mean how when they talked about father going to the pub they talked about the black liquid called “the pint” which is in reality, beer. “Mam” is a very interesting word to use because it shows that at that time the story is being told from a child’s view so they don’t have proper word use and grammar sometimes. Other things they say are just slang words that helped project the image of the time, place, and people living.

In a world of black and white plainness, in the streets of Limerick the McCourt family strives to live their life to the fullest of their ability. And the specific “language” used throughout the text brings the lanes of Limerick into reality. To hear more about the shenanigans of the McCourt boys and the rest of their families up’s and down’s in their life in Limerick read Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes.

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