Angela's Ashes

The Ashes of Catholicism 9th Grade

Angela’s Ashes is an absorbing memoir by Frank McCourt, a book that details his early childhood in Brooklyn, New York. However, it tends to focus more on his life in Limerick, Ireland through various anecdotes concerning the author's young life. McCourt presents the novel as a sort of coming of age story during his childhood. As McCourt himself recounts, “When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was of course, a miserable childhood. . . . Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood” (McCourt 11). In Angela’s Ashes, the Catholic Church plays a major role for Frank by influencing his actions, his fears, and his way of life. As becomes clear from a reader’s standpoint, Frank’s actions had been heavily influenced by the Catholic Church.

As a young man (pre-communion), Frankie found that his influences fell within what he had been taught, through confirmation specifically. However ready he may have been, he had last-minute jitters pre and post communion. As referenced in Duffy's article on Frank McCourt and religiosity, “That book's hilarious and irreverent chapter on Mr. McCourt's preparation for, and eventual...

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