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Matthew Bridge, Limerick ANGELA

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Matthew Bridge, Limerick ANGELA S ASHES BY FRANK McCOURT ... often including a contemplation of the meaning of that event at the time of the writing of the memoir. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Matthew Bridge, Limerick ANGELA


1
Matthew Bridge, LimerickANGELAS ASHES
  • BY FRANK McCOURT

2
Frank McCourt
  • Born in NYC in 1930
  • NYC to Ireland, back to NYC _at_ 19
  • H.S. English teacher
  • Pulitzer Prize 1997 for Angelas Ashes

3
Frank McCourts books
  • Angelas Ashes -1996
  • Tis - 1999
  • Teacher Man - 2005

4
Genre The Memoir
  • What is a memoir? A memoir is a piece of
    autobiographical writing, usually shorter in
    nature than a comprehensive autobiography. The
    memoir, especially as it is being used in
    publishing today, often tries to capture certain
    highlights or meaningful moments in one's past,
    often including a contemplation of the meaning of
    that event at the time of the writing of the
    memoir. The memoir may be more emotional and
    concerned with capturing particular scenes, or a
    series of events, rather than documenting every
    fact of a person's life http//www.inkspell.homest
    ead.com/memoir.html

5
Memoir Expectations
  • The intimacy of the memoir immediately gives the
    reader a sense or an expectation of a narrative
    of human experience and emotion.
  • More than just facts strung together, a reader
    expects a memoir to portray emotional events and
    personally significant experiences

6
Excerpts from Angelas Ashes
  • 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. People everywhere brag and whimper
    about the woes of their early years, but nothing
    can compare with the Irish version the poverty
    the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father the
    pious defeated mother moaning by the fire
    pompous priests bullying schoolmasters the
    English and the terrible things they did to us
    for eight hundred long years. Above all- we were
    wet." (McCourt 11)

7
IRELAND
8
Events in Irish History
  • 1916 - Easter Rising
  • 1919-1921 Armed Rebellion
  • 1922 - Irish Civil War
  • Civil War begun after Michael Collins accepts
    British terms
  • Ireland split - Northern Protestant and Southern
    Catholic

9
Setting
  • Limerick
  • Strong Catholic history
  • 1934 - depths of The Great Depression

10
McCourt Family
  • Angela, Malachy
  • Frank, Malachy Jr., Eugene, Oliver, Margaret,
    Michael, Alphie

11
More Family
  • Toome in County Antrim Malachy McCourts Family
  • Limerick Angelas Family

12
Themes in Angelas Ashes
  • Angelas Ashes is biographical in nature. It
    falls into a genre called life writing.
    McCourt takes creative licence to highlight key
    points of his life. The following themes can be
    scene in the book
  • Class Struggle (Poverty)
  • Hunger
  • Fatherly failure and irresponsibility

13
Poverty
  • The theme of poverty is pervasive. In
    Limerick, poverty is accepted as a fact of life
    although there is a charitable society and a
    rudimentary system of public assistance, neither
    does much to lift the poor out of their misery.
    For the McCourts, the dole money is never
    sufficient. When they first settle in Limerick,
    Malachy receives a mere nineteen shillings a
    week, for a family of six. "Just enough for all
    of us to starve on," says Angela. The family
    often goes hungry.
  • Not only is food scarce living conditions are
    appalling. The McCourts must deal with fleas,
    rats, flies, and lice. There is only one lavatory
    for the whole lane of eleven families, and it is
    directly outside their door. In summer the stench
    is unbearable.

14
Hunger
  • The McCourts never have enough food to eat, and
    the food they do manage to procure is scant and
    unsatisfying. Hunger is mentioned over and over
    again until it becomes a haunting presence in the
    narrative. Franks father often drinks away the
    money the family needs for food, and comes home
    wailing about the plight of Ireland and the
    Irish.
  • Franks hunger is more than practical it becomes
    a metaphor for his desire to leave Ireland and
    seek new opportunity.

15
Fatherly Irresponsibility
  • Malachy is a study in alcoholism, laziness, and
    false pride.
  • His habit of spending the familys tiny income on
    beer, leads to disaster and ultimately breaks up
    the family.
  • Though the book is named after Franks mother,
    much of the book deals with the fatherhood of
    Malachy.

16
Style
  • Angela's Ashes is narrated in the first person,
    and apart from the first part of chapter one, it
    is told in the present tense. The present tense
    narration serves the author's purpose well as it
    conveys the immediacy of the child's experience
    and avoids giving the impression, as a past tense
    might, that the story is being told by an adult
    reflecting on his childhood.

17
Language
  • The language used throughout is colloquial and
    earthy. Slang, Irishisms, and vulgar expressions
    are used frequently, and these convey the way
    people really talked in Limerick during the
    author's childhood. Having a "fine fist," for
    example, means that a person has good
    handwriting. To go "beyond the beyonds" is to
    behave in an outrageous manner.

18
Questions for Discussion
  • What is so unusual about the trip that the
    McCourts take to leave America and return to
    Ireland?
  • How does the childrens brotherhood help to make
    up for the inadequacies of the father?
  • What does the author mean when he says the only
    thing worse than growing up Irish is growing up
    Irish Catholic? What role does religion play in
    the novel?
  • Why do you think the book is titled Angelas
    Ashes?
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