“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”
Frank Mccourt was born on August 19th, 1930 in New York to Irish immigrants, Angela and Malachy, at the start of the Great Depression. After struggling to make ends meet in New York, his parents decided to move to Limerick, Ireland when Frank was four years old. Upon arriving in Ireland his family was hoping for a better life, but ended up in worse circumstances than in America. At nineteen years old, Frank earned enough money to return back to America and leave his family behind. When he got back he enlisted in the Army and served in the Korean War. Later on, he received his master’s degree in Education and taught high school English for thirty years. After spending countless years of his life enriching the lives of high school students, he passed away on July 19th, 2009 (“Frank McCourt Bio”). Angela’s Ashes is a memoir of Frank Mccourt’s life and the obstacles he overcame, while leaving his story behind to show the sufferings of Ireland and teach the importance of studying world literature.
When Frank’s family arrived in Limerick, Ireland a civil war had ended only a few years earlier. Today, Ireland is divided into Northern Ireland in the north, and the Republic of Ireland in the south. The two countries were not divided until the 17th century when British colonists settled in the north. At this time, a majority of Ireland was Catholic, and the British were mainly Protestants. Great Britain wanted full control of the country, so they convinced the Irish in the north to fear a country ruled by Catholics and accept British rule. However, the Irish in the south were devout Catholics and refused to be ruled by Protestants. A civil war broke out between the north and the south sending the whole country into a frenzy. The Catholics, after eight hundred years of fighting the British and the Protestants, won their freedom and became the independent nation they are today, while the north still remains under British control. Even years after the civil war ended, the south and north still don’t get along. The south views the north as traitors for not sticking with the Catholic faith and fighting with them for their independence from Great Britain (Imbornoni).
Malachy, Frank’s father, was from the north but fought for the south in the war, while his mother Angela was from south. Their marriage in March of 1930 was not supported by Angela’s family from the start, and it was frowned upon even more when Frank was born in August of 1930 shortly after. Malachy was said to have an “odd manner” was “worthless”, and an alcoholic all at the same time for the simple fact that he was from the north. In America, any money he made in a day was drank away at the bars...