Pick one of the following quotations and write a well-developed essay connecting it to Frank McCourt’s memoir, Angela’s Ashes.
1. “You can turn painful situations around through laughter. If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it.” ― Bill Cosby
2. “Through our sunless lanes creeps Poverty with her hungry eyes, and Sin with his sodden face follows close behind her. Misery wakes us in the morning and Shame sits with us at night.” – Oscar Wilde
Explain how the quotation relates to the family’s plight in Angela’s Ashes. Use textual evidence to support your ideas. Explore McCourt’s use of tone, language, and rhetorical techniques.
On the Web
Read the following interviews with author Frank McCourt:
SparkNotes also has resources on Angela’s Ashes.
Critics have referred to Angela’s Ashes as either an “inspirational memoir,” or “misery literature. Others claim McCourt wasn’t entirely truthful. Check out this article from the Daily Mail. What are your thoughts/reactions? What themes does this book have in common with Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle?