Adversity In Angela's Ashes

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It could be said that the seemingly beautiful façade of Ireland is merely just a front, as Irish literature explicitly challenges the idea that this country is as unaffected as their landscape. However there is a much darker and conflicted understanding that leaks through Ireland which epitomizes it 's unstable past. Prevailing literary texts represent the harsh reality that is Ireland, whereby poverty and Catholicism serve to subjugate society. However it is evident that the population embodies the determination to overcome adversity and succeed. Both Angela’s Ashes, a memoir by Frank McCourt and My Left Foot based on the moving journey of Christy Brown, encapsulate the adversity that characterises Ireland.

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While technology may seem to be an indication of wealth, hunger and a lack of money are perennial themes in Angela’s Ashes. Frank McCourt’s memoir foster’s the philosophy that families are big and with this, poverty is widespread. This scarcity is echoed through the streets of Limerick, where those fortunate enough will have at most two beds for a family of five. A recollection trapped inside Frank is the memory of his friend whereby, “His clothes are rags, he has to share with his six brothers and a sister and when he comes to school with a bloody nose or a black eye, you know he had a fight over the clothes that morning.” This typifies Irish poverty and its problem as a restriction to those who are a burden to society. As discovered The Church and the St Vincent de Paul Society have control over the amount of aid each family is in need of. Consequently, the imagery created by Frank McCourt illustrates the dark, dull and depressive lanes of Limerick and the unhealthy and staunch population. This is furthermore made conspicuous in My Left Foot where Mr Brown questions Mrs. Brown, “What’s that?” Before asking where she got it, Mrs Brown tells him “its money!” This quote recognizes the ubiquitousness of poverty and the scarceness of money. It also foregrounds the oppressiveness tied to poverty in Ireland and shows how through negative implications of poverty in Ireland, a forceful desire is developed to overcome

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