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Angela’s Ashes Essay

“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood. ” (McCourt, 1996). Angela’s Ashes was a memoir based on the life of Frank McCourt, which ranged in various anecdotes and stories of Frank’s childhood and pursuit to his dreams to live in America.

Frank faced various struggles especially his drunken father, who spent his paycheck, if he even had a job to a pint of beer to show his friend’s the money he has earned. With this it causes Frank’s family to go through struggles as to broken shoes, harsh conditioned homes, poor sanitation, plumbing, heat, and hope that they’ll survive through the great depression in Limerick, Ireland. Frankie was a boy who seemed to have high potential to be a great independent man. He always had a mind of his own, his own opinions, great responsibility, and determination.

During his childhood he saw his Mother’s suffering, with the fact that she had to rely on the Father of her children to help them survive the great depression but with only giving them false hope, which resulted into his father, Malachy leaving the family. As Frank reached the age of teenage maturity Frankie, went out of his way to get a job and help out the family. With the qualities that Frank McCourt posses and learns throughout the memoir he improves himself and ventures back to America to achieve greatness.

During the final days of Frank McCourt after the suffering of the passing of his first love, who died from Typhoid, the great Frank McCourt at a young age had finally saved up his paychecks from his hard-work to venture of into America. While eating a celebratory dinner with his family, a lunar eclipse had seemed to appear at that night. So they quickly race outside to witness this outstanding, once in a lifetime scene of magnificent scenery, which his uncle had said it symbolizes good luck towards his ventures into America. After witnessing the lunar eclipse and his neighbors wishing him arewell to leaving Ireland. As the neighborhood emptied he saw a little boy, who was very unfamiliar to him, as he got closer he recognized it was him as a little boy. From there he sees how he has got to where he is today. As people grow older, facing various obstacles and challenges, people learn and grow from who they were as little as one day. In Buddhism we see the law of Impermanence come into play with everyone’s life, with this we tend to look back and see how much we have grown, how we have survived our lives whether it be physical, mental, or spiritual obstacles that we have faced in our lives.

As teenagers we see have a mentality of wanting the independence and earning bigger responsibilities to prove ourselves to our parents, others, or even ourselves that we can achieve the goals we set for ourselves. Though, with this in mind we tend to still make many mistakes that we try to grow out from and strive for better. Though it is ironic the fact that when our mistakes show it is what others see and highlight among us and not the effort we have tried to become a better person. But this is what growing up is all about.

As we grow older we see ourselves “fall in love” with that significant other, which you will never let go and even though they might not be present in our lives we still care about them. Regardless of how much you have changed or the other person has changed you know that deep down when you with them everything is still the same as it was. Not only do we just fall in love but also the love we show our friends. My memoir talks mostly about significant friendships and what I have learned from each and every one of them.

We see that as grow a special bond with these friends you exchange mistakes or even experience mistakes together which you can conquer as a team and grow from them. Regardless of fights, obstacles that are put in front of the laps of many friendships, if it’s worth it you don’t give up. In my friendships, especially with Steven, even though he was mad due to the unaccepted friendship with Chris and the betrayal that he felt from it, I have never tried to not fix it, and to have communication with him to solve it.

Though he chose to put his guard with his pride he refused to say nothing was wrong and that he didn’t care. As time passed, and took many messages to pass through a friend to show that I was willing to give up on my other friendship, which I truly miss; we have finally overcome that obstacle and have grown closer than ever before. After the feeling of every obstacle has been tackled, every fight has been fought, and you have claimed victorious over any problem that occurs you get the feeling that everything is smooth sailing from then.

We look up and think positive that everything will be okay, but until we end our course through life there’s always a new challenge interrupting our trajectory. At this point in time I am satisfied to what I have achieved and where I have ended up, I see myself still constantly looking back at my old self, seeing what I could improve on, changed to reach higher satisfactory, and better myself from I have learned from the past. Even though I have felt that I have reached my goal, as Frankie has reached America to better his life.

The act on looking back at yourself, depicts the scene of how Frankie saw himself as a child and how much obstacles he has gone through and achieved to pursue his dream to America, just like the goals we achieve we look back and see what we have gone through. With Impermanence constantly occurring in our lives we are introduced with new challenges and new chapters to open in our lives. Looking back at ourselves does help us learn, but we must apply these new found lessons and look forward to our future to not repeat our mistakes and misguided actions.


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