Angela's Ashes: the Setting Effects the Actions of the Characters

1472 WordsOct 20, 19996 Pages
The autobiography Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt tells the life of the McCourt family while living in poverty in Limmerick, Ireland during the 30's and 40's. Frank McCourt relates his difficult childhood to the reader up to the time he leaves for America at age nineteen. The book has many prevailing themes, but one of the most notable is the settings relationship to the family. The setting of the book ultimately influences the choices and lifestyle of the McCourt family in many ways. <br> <br>Living in poverty and not being able to meet basic needs leads the characters to result to desperate measures such as stopping Frank McCourt's education and taking a job to support the family. Frank is forced to take the job mostly because his father…show more content…
<br> <br>Houses the McCourts live in are also cold, damp and lice infected which leads to sickness and discomfort for the family. Lice bothers the children as described by Frank McCourt telling about his brother's reaction when he first was bitten. " Eugene went on crying and when Dad leaped from the bed we saw the fleas, leaping, jumping, fastened to our flesh."(59) The children are constantly cold and uncomfortable because of drafty houses and using coats to keep warm because they had no real blankets. At one point in the story, the McCourts are forced to take wood from the wall to keep a fire going. Mrs.McCourt tells the children " One more board from that wall, one more and not another one. She says that for two weeks till there's nothing left but the beam frame."(276) Eventually the landlord discovers the damage to the house and the McCourts are forced to move in with Mrs.McCourt's cousin. <br> <br>The McCourts find little hospitality in their extended family or the people of Limmerick, Ireland during the depression. Mrs.McCourt's cousin resentfully allows the children and mother to live with him after being kicked out of their home, but insists that Angela do all his chores and wait on him at any time. The only time Mrs.McCourt's family extends help is during times of great desperation and the assistance given is meager. An example of this is the children's Aunt Aggie, who takes care of them for a short period of time when Mrs.McCourt develops
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