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The Sadness of Poverty in Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes

The Sadness of Poverty in Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes

“It is not the rich man you should properly call happy, but him who knows how to use with wisdom the blessings of the gods, to endure hard poverty, and who fears dishonor worse than death, and is not afraid to die for cherished friends or fatherland.”

In the novel Angela’s Ashes, (1996) by Frank McCourt, a life of poverty is the only life this family knows. It is a memoir about a young boy born in New York City. Frank, born ten months prior to his brother Malachy, was raised in a small apartment with his parents, Angela and Malachy McCourt.

A dark haired boy with fair skin, little Frankie was forced to wear the same clothes day after day and be happy that he even had anything. The family’s breakfast consisted of tea and sometimes bread. Dinner was usually a piece of fried bread dipped in more tea and supper was bread and tea and jam and sometimes mashed potatoes with butter and salt. Born to a father who became an alcoholic at a early age, Frank was used to those long waits on Friday nights, payday. The day when all the other fathers came home and gave the money to their families and then took some for themselves to go out and drink. Malachy McCourt was different, he took all his money, spent it on the drink and came home singing songs from his days in Ireland. He would stumble in the door and get the two young boys up and make them promise to die for Ireland. He would teach them his favorite song and they would all sing until Malachy passed out.

“Up the narrow street he stepped

Smiling and proud and young

About the hemp-rope on his neck

The golden ringlets clung,

There’s never a tear in the blue eyes

Both glad and bright are they,

As Roddy McCorley goes …

… middle of paper …

…ey had. The doctors advised his mom to feed him eggs and beef but all she was able to feed him was some beef broth for a couple days.

It takes a very skilled writer to relate his life to the world, especially such a painful one. Angela’s Ashes portrays a life of starvation and lack of money. Living every day one at a time and when they so much as received an extra shilling or two, blowing it on the movies or a piece of candy. In those days, it was useless to save up unless you knew you or someone close to you was in definite need of it. When a simple story about a boy growing up in Ireland can make a person cry, that is the best way of touching a reader’s heart. A good writer knows exactly how to do that and an even greater writer is brave enough to admit that this sad story. . . is theirs.

Work Cited

McCourt, Frank. Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir. Scribner 1996.

Mystery Surrounding the Phoenix Lights: Evidence of UFO Sighting?

Mystery Surrounding the Phoenix Lights: Evidence of UFO Sighting?


The events that occurred in Phoenix on March 13, 1997 still have the world at a loss. A triangle (boomerang) shaped craft with seven lights on the main body and one trailing behind the rest appeared over Phoenix. Some believe that they were just flares used by the military, but others think that it was definitely extraterrestrial. Much evidence has been found, but the mystery remains.

On March 13, 1997, an inexplicable phenomenon took place in the sky over Phoenix, Arizona. Thousands of people witnessed the occurrence, and a few dozen even caught it on camera. The event was so astonishing that the most world-renowned news source, CNN, broadcast it on national television. Disappearing, the mind-boggling event left thousands, or even millions, in disbelief at what they had just witnessed. What was it? The world may never know.

The V-shaped object that appeared in the sky that night over Phoenix has left every UFO fanatic and scientist in awe. There is no real explanation for the bright lights that took the shape of a huge boomerang from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Many have tried to explain what no one can, but for every scenario, there is an equally crazy explanation that proves it to be false. To this day, there is still no explanation that is completely rock-solid and can explain this extremely odd occurrence. Have the inhabitants of Phoenix been the victim of a huge hoax, or have the people been witness to one of the most conclusive UFO sightings in history?


There are many people throughout Arizona that say that they saw what is being called the Phoenix lights. Officials received calls and reports of the sighting from as far south as Tucson to the Northwestern reaches of Kingman. Dozens of people videotaped the action that was taking place, and a few even said that they saw the boomerang shaped UFO fly overhead before the sightings. News crews covered as many witnesses as they could find, trying to reveal some sort of clarity or explanation to what was seen to set every mind at ease. The most conclusive evidence of a UFO sighting came from a family that CNN interviewed and made their cover story.

The Ley family says they saw the object fly overhead before any of the occurrences later that night. Tim Ley and his son said, “When it finally got here and we realized this thing was coming right over us, we really started getting antsy.

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