McCourt is able to use humor, irony, and point of view to make the tale of Angela’s Ashes one which will never be forgotten. The humor used throughout the novel breaks the tension of what would otherwise be a very depressing story. When confronted with fleas in the mattress of the bed, the father is instructed to by a man on the street to “confuse the little buggers” by turning the mattress upside down. Obviously, this is not going to rid the mattress of fleas, nor will it confuse them. The reader is aware of this, and the incident is humorous. Another example of humor that can be found in the novel occurs on the day of Frank’s first communion.
He becomes sick and his communion wafer finds its way into his grandmother’s back yard. She then sends him to confession and instructs him to ask the priest what can be done to fix the problem. The big deal she makes about having “God in my back yard” is humorous to the reader, who knows that the communion wafer is not really God. Irony also plays a large role in keeping the story interesting. There is a poem that Mam recites to a neighbor about Ireland that states: “And Limerick town has no happier hearth than mine has been with my man from the North.” Pap is from the north and is of no use to the family. He does nothing to make them happy or to make life easier on them, so this poem does not work with the situation Mam is in.
Another situation that may not be considered to be fortunate in these days is the wake. Wakes are considered to be good because there is food and warm shelter while one is mourning the dead. It is once commented that, “there is nothing like a wake for having a good time.” Telling this story from the point of view of a child makes for much more interesting possibilities than if it were told from the point of view of an adult. Adults worry about money, food, coal for the fire, and clothing for the children. The children will spend any spare nickel on a movie at the cinema. Frank misinterprets many things that he is told because the adults in his life won’t take the time to explain them to him. This makes for some interesting scenarios, such as when he asks what the strange creatures in the field are, he is told they are cows.
In the United States, twenty million children are experiencing physical, verbal and emotional abuse from parents who are addicted to alcohol. Growing up in an alcoholic house can leave emotional scars that may last a lifetime. This is tragic because we consider that childhood is the foundation on which our entire lives are fabricated. When a child's efforts to bond with an addicted parent are ...
When he asks what a cow is, he is told, “Cows are cows, son.” Pap is a major source of the confusion throughout the story. He convinces Frank that he must die for Ireland, and he believes it until he leaves Ireland for America. While reading the book, the reader is held captivated by the humor and irony throughout the story. Although some aspects, such as the father coming home drunk on payday, are always the same, his actions and the actions of the children are always different. A new twist of the truth or misunderstanding by an eleven year old is around every corner. McCourt is an outstanding author, and his sequel is sure to be a success..