The following paper analyzes the fatherhood and son-father relationship with the context of “Angela’s Ashes.” The book is a memoir written by Frank McCourt; an Irish American author and the book first published in 1996. Throughout the autobiography, McCourt incorporates several stories, incidents, and anecdotes from his early days. Although he states that his early age was spent in Brooklyn a borough of New York but elucidates that his remaining life spent in Limerick, Ireland. He elaborates the alcoholism and poverty based incidents of his father in a captivating manner. McCourt explicates that he encountered a full-of-struggle life in his growing years. His family was immensely poor and to make the life a bit easier they shifted to Limerick. In due course, McCourt highlights the character of his father prominently and states that his father never got a proper job and was broke and could not support the financial needs of the family. Throughout the autobiography, Frank’s father Malachy McCourt was an antagonist and a hero altogether.
Regardless of all the problems Frank and his father indulge interesting chemistry. Throughout the memoir Frank’s standpoint about his father keep altering; at times Frank sense abhorrent toward him and at other he admires him the most. In the start of the story, Frank says that his father is the “shiftless loquacious alcoholic father” (McCourt, p.1). Evidently the expression allows readers to feel that his father is a bad person. Franks also despises his father’s habit of wasting all his family’s precious and meager money on his vague addiction to alcoholism. Memoir reflects that “He can’t get a job, but he finds money for the drink, money for the drink, money for the drink, money for the drink.” (McCourt, p.19) According to Frank the most hurtful act of his father was to break off the connection with his family after getting a job in England. However he never becomes able to live a normal life, and his addiction never ceased him Malachy visited only a few times after going aloof. Frank concludes that his father does not care for his family and “he is drunk over there in England that never sent a penny” (McCourt, p. 32). All these assertions elaborate that Frank does not like his father and somehow hates him.
However, Frank also depicted another aspect of his father’s personality. He admires that whenever his father spends a drink less night, he becomes a caring and helping man. He tries to assist in the domestic chores as well. Franks says that at such alcohol-free mornings Malachy “lights the fire, make tea, cuts the bread’ (McCourt, p.70). And according to Frank, his father’s most prominent positive attribute is his involvement in education. Malachy tells different stories to his children and keeps advising Frank to get more education. Malachy has an educated mind and knows many things, and at times he used to teach Frank too. Frank recalls that Malachy says that “never eat anything floating in water for the rot that might be in it.” (McCourt, p.7)
By analyzing above given description of “Angela’s Ashes,” it becomes evident that Frank has an ambiguous relationship with his father. He wants to love him, but alcoholism takes Malachy away from Frank. Regardless of being caring, helping and educated father he was unable to cater the very meager and basic needs of his family. Conclusively, Frank got inspiration from his father in a positive manner and promised himself never to repeat the mistakes of Malachy. He makes up for the lacking areas and starts earning from the age eleven and by the time he becomes reliable support for his family. The lesson interwoven is to learn from the mistakes and always focus on positivity.