"angela's Ashes" - How Did Frank Mccourt's Tragic Childhood Lead To His Success As An Adult?

489 words - 2 pages

In Frank McCourt’s incredible and poignant memoir "Angela’s Ashes" McCourt explains, with a bit of a cynical sense of humor, how the childhood of an Irish Catholic is one of the most, if not the most, difficult childhoods for a person to live through. But goes on to say that difficult doesn’t necessarily mean bad in every way, because “...the happy childhood is hardly worth your while” (McCourt 11). As indescribably miserable and problematic as Frank’s childhood is the fact that he is forced into being his house’s “father figure,” always has a lot ...view middle of the document...

A childhood as unhappy as McCourt’s, however, is so rich in the sense that he always has a lot to look forward to; dreaming and aspiring to any life that is not his. Frank only sees failed lives of people who gave up or just became “safeshots” as Pa Keating calls them (McCourt 335). Frank was able to take this in and use it as fuel for his dreams. Similarly, while Malachy was away and drinking, Frank had many other “fathers” to look after him such as his Uncle Pa Keating, Mr. O’Halloran, Mr. Timoney and Mr. Hannon. Uncle Pa Keating told Frank “’Tis your life, make your own decisions and to hell with the begrudgers,” (McCourt 335) while Mr. Hannon said to go to school and “Get out of Limerick before your legs rot and your mind collapses entirely,” (McCourt 260).Frank McCourt’s success is the product of his ineffably awful childhood. A father from the moment he learned to walk and a curious, streetwise independent soon after, McCourt’s adult figures taught him to question society and build himself from its flaws. And in doing this, young Frankie was able to take his box of great aspirations and carry them out as opposed to throwing them into the ashes; the place where dreams were commonly cast by all of the McCourt’s before him.Works Cited-----------McCourt, Frank. Angela's Ashes. New York: Scribner, 1996.

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