Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt’s Love/Hate Relationship with his Father

Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt’s Love/Hate Relationship with his FatherAngela’s Ashes is a memoir of Frank McCourt’s childhood and thedifficulties he faced whilst growing up. His family were very poor andmoved from America to Limerick to try and live an easier life. Frank’sfather was constantly out of a job and never had enough money tosupport his family.

Frank and his father have a very interesting relationship. Throughoutthe book, Frank constantly changes the way he feels for his father.There are times when Frank completely despises him and others where heidolises him. At the beginning of the book, Frank explains thatMalachy was “the shiftless loquacious alcoholic father,” giving thereader a bad impression of him. As the story moves on, there areseveral places where you can see that Frank loves his father, despiteall the hard times he has put him and his family through.

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Malachy is constantly out of a job, leaving his family to survive ontheir own through poverty. He uses every single penny they have at thepubs; it drives Frank mad and he loses all respect for him. Frankcompletely loathes his father when he upsets his mother. He makes herangry which Frank cannot stand.

“My heart is banging away in my chest and I don’t know what to dobecause I know I’m raging inside like my mother”.

Malachy comes home drunk so often; the three boys know exactly what’sgoing on and what they have to do.

“We know Dad has done the bad thing and we know you can make anyonesuffer by not talking to him.

” Frank knew what his father deserved for making his mother unhappyand didn’t hesitate to ignore him when he’d done the ‘bad thing’.

As they couldn’t rely on Malachy, Frank knew it was his j…

…wever, the onlytime he despised and hated him was when he was under the influence ofthe drink. Malachy would use the money for his addiction but nothingelse. If Malachy did not have a drinking problem, he would probably doanything for his children. When he wasn’t drunk, Malachy had so muchlove and care for his children and would give them anything. The booksleaves the reader with a warm, affection their love for one another isand this impression leaves you to overlook the previous feelings youhad for Malachy as an incompetent father.

Frank loved him so much and cherished the moments he spent with him.He looked up to him with much admiration. Frank loved spending timewith him and idolised him. Frank only hated his father for keeping hismother and brothers in crippling hunger but loved him when he wassober, and trying to look after the family.


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