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Book report “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt
Good morning everybody. May I have your attention please!
Today I would like to present you my book that is named “Angela’s Ashes”
I will give you a rough outline of what I’m going to present to you.
1. Some information on the author
2. Rough outline of the book
3. Some information on a special feature I have chosen from the book
4. The message I found out
5. My personal opinion
Ok, so I will start with the information on the author.
This is a very difficult point because Angela’s Ashes is an autobiography of Frank McCourt. So I won’t say so much about him because this will be mentioned in the second point of my presentation.
Frank Mc Court was born in 1931 in Brooklyn, New York. He was one of five children in an Irish immigrant family. Frank McCourt grew up in Brooklyn and when he was four years old he immigrated to Limerick, Ireland, with his parents where he lived for the rest of his childhood.
When he was 18 years old he immigrated back to America where he taught at various schools and colleges in New York City. He lived with his wife in Connecticut, New York.
He always wanted to write a book about his life, but he never realized his dream. When he was 69 he did what he ever wanted. He wrote Angela’s Ashes an autobiography of his life. With this book he was distinguished as the best biographer. He and his brother Malachy also performed a musical review about their childhood and their youth in Ireland. His brother also published an autobiography.
At first I would like to present a small passage of the story to you. It is the first paragraph of the book.
“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive 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 I had.”
This is how the memoir of Frank Mc Court begins. He is born in Depression-era Brooklyn and raised in the slums of Limerick.
Frank’s mother Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank’s father Malachy rarely works, and when he does he spends the whole money on drinks in Irish pubs, when he comes home completely drunk he forces his children to sing songs about soldiers who fought for Ireland, and they have to promise to die for their country.
Frank is the eldest son and he loves his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and he loves the tale of the Angel of the seventh step who brings new babies to his mother. The angel of the seventh step brings three new babies, called Margaret, Eugene and Oliver. By and by these three babies die because of the coldness and the lack of warm clothes and food. The family is constantly on the move to find a new place to live because Frank’s mother Angela does not want to stay in the room where her children died. The other two children have nearly no clothes; they wear rags, and shoes that are covered from sole to heel with squares of rubber tire. Because they are so poor, their mother Angela asks for money in St. Vincent de Paul society, this is an organization where poor families get money for the things they need. They gather coal from the roadside to light a fire and to get hot tea or warm food for them. Frank hates their poverty; he does not want the neighbors and relatives to talk about them, so he starts working in a coal factory and writes dunning letters for on old woman, the money he earns he gives to his mother who buys food for the children. Frank’s father Malachy goes to Great Britain to earn some money, but he does not send a penny to his family in Ireland. Malachy, Frank’s father comes back from Great Britain without anything he is ashamed of himself and so he leaves his family and goes back. Frank’s mother goes more and more crazy because she cannot understand why her babies had to die. The two boys do everything for her mother, but when Frank is old enough he makes his dream come through, he leaves their room and immigrates to America where he lived for the rest of his live.
As a special feature of “Angela’s Ashes” I have chosen the author Frank McCourt. He is the one who tells the whole story. I admire his strengths and his sustaining power. He himself says that he wonders how he survived his childhood. During the whole book he never looses his hope, he tries to make the best out of his situation. Frank tells his live from the point of view of a little boy and so he gives a very detailed description of his feelings and emotions. He is a very ambitious boy who wants to help his family to get out of the poverty. Sometimes he hates his father because he is always so drunk and sings these stupid songs about Robby Mc Corley and all these people. When he gets older he tries to convince his father of stopping to spend all the money for drinks in the pubs. Frank is very mature and understands everything that is going on.
He is the one who makes the story so interesting and sometimes also a little bit funny.
It was very difficult to find out a message of the book, because it is an autobiography and not an invented story that criticizes society or things like that.
That is why I can only suppose a message. I think that McCourt wants to show and to make clear that you should never give up hope whatever may happen, and that a family should stay together and should try to make the best out of their situation. Furthermore I am of the opinion that he tries to create a picture of how live is without money and that everybody should be happy with the things he has.
My personal opinion about this book is that I found it very interesting and I liked it very much. This is because of the way Frank McCourt told the story. He tried to make it a little bit funny but also serious. The book is full of emotions and feelings that are described very detailed.
At first I thought it would be boring because it is so long and has quite a lot of pages, but McCourt knows how to captivate his readers, with new situations and actions and so it is not as long as it seems to be.
I recommend it to everyone who is interested in Memoirs or autobiographies because it is quite easy to read and also interesting. And if you don’t want to read the book I would suggest watching the film, because it is also made up very good.
Ok, that’s it and thank your for your attention.