Angela's Ashes Rhetorical Analysis

984 Words 4 Pages
Entry 2: Childhood Literacy
Pages that elicited this response: 122-132; 215-218
In the memoir, Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt’s reading and writing during his childhood shaped his future. When he was diagnosed with typhoid disease and put into a hospital, he met a girl with diphtheria. She recited the poem, the Highwayman, which invoked McCourt’s curiosity as he says “it's like having jewels in [his] mouth” (McCourt 124) . However, because of all the missed school he is demoted to his younger brother’s class, where he is given special assignments. One essay in particular allowed his professor to see his potential and he is upgraded back to his normal class. McCourt’s training in reading and writing allow him to apply for the post office exam because a “smart boy [is] wanted, neat handwriting, good at sums” which would provide a secure job. (McCourt 216). If he was illiterate, he wouldn't be granted the wonderful opportunity to make money and help his family, and his teachers
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The author and his remaining brothers were able survive starvation. Even though McCourt’s father is helping the war effort, “he never sends money home from England where he is working in a munitions factory” (McCourt 150). He still goes back to his old drinking habits and leaves his family to rot after he eventually cut off ties with them. Because of this, McCourt has to step up and be the man of the house. He gets a job as a telegram deliverer and unlike his father, he actually brings his wages home so his family “doesn't have to worry about a bit of bread” (McCourt 230). He even takes his brothers out for some fun in town as they go for lemonade, games, candy, and movies, luxuries they could not even have imagined before. Because of his hard work, his family is no longer impoverished, and they can be proud of the lives that they are living instead of being ashamed of their

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