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Angela's Ashes by Mind Map: Angela's Ashes

1. Characters

1.1. Francis McCourt

1.1.1. Round character. As the story follows Francis and how he grows up, the reader obviously learns the most about him, as we are able to read how he thinks. "Frank" or "Frankie" is the oldest child of Angela and Malachy Sr, this leading to him having to take the responsibility of caring for his other siblings, since his father is never there to do it. He was born in New York.

1.2. Malachy McCourt Sr.

1.2.1. Flat character. Most of the time Mr. McCourt seems to be dorwning his sorrows in alcohol. He married Angela Sheehan. He could be seen as the antogonist of the story, since he finds drinking more important then feeding and taking care of his family.

1.3. Angela McCourt-Sheehan

1.3.1. Flat character. Even though the book is named after her. I don't feel like Angela undergoes a lot of character development. She married Malachy McCourt after getting pregnant. Her family doesn't like her husband and often try not to speak with him. She has two brothers and one sister. She is originally from Limerick but moved to New York after meeting Malachy.

1.4. McCourt children

1.4.1. Malachy McCourt Jr. Flat character. The second born son of Malachy Sr. and Angela. Being 'the more charming one' he is treated like the golden boy in his family. He was born in New York, around one year after the birth of Francis.

1.4.2. Micheal McCourt Flat character. The sixth-born child of the McCourt family, but the first one that is born in Limerick.

1.4.3. Alphonsus McCourt Flat character. The youngest child of the Malachy family, with an age-difference of about 10 years between "Alphie" and Francis.

1.4.4. Eugene and Oliver McCourt Both are flat characters. The third and fourth-born children from Malachy Sr. and Angela. A year after the family had moved to Limerick, Oliver passed away. Only a few months later did Eugene also die, of loneliness.

1.4.5. Margaret McCourt Flat character. The fifth-born daugther of Angela and Malachy Sr. She was so loved by her family members, that Malachy Sr. even stopped drinking. She dies only a few weeks after being born, by a sickness that was never acknowledged by her parents. After her death, Malachy Sr. starts drinking again.

1.5. Aunt Aggie

1.5.1. Flat character. The sister of Angela McCourt-Sheehan, and that makes her the aunt of Frankie and his siblings. She is married to Pa Keating and they do not have any children.

1.6. Uncle Pa Keating

1.6.1. Flat character. He is married to aunt Aggie and that makes him the uncle of Francis and his siblings. He cares about Frankie and gives him helpful advice, which ends up changing the way Frankie decides to live his life.

1.7. Grandma

1.7.1. Flat character. Does not like Malachy Sr, but tries to help the McCourt family however and whenever she can.

2. Figurative Language

2.1. Metaphores

2.1.1. “…Grandma, with white hair, sour eyes, a black shawl…” Frank describes her eyes as being sour, but really they looked as though they were sour.

2.1.2. “You’re pure stone mad, and she tells us again to go to bed.”

2.1.3. “… Grandma said it was better to have a story like that then to be sitting around the long face”

2.2. Similes

2.2.1. "There's a whiteness in my head and I feel like a boy in heaven." Throughout the memoir McCourt uses similes as a point of comparison so the reader will have a better visual image as to what he is explaining. Recognized by the use of the word "like".

2.2.2. “Mam is slumped on the edge of the bed, making small crying sounds like a bird.”

2.2.3. “…a man that doesn’t even look like a Catholic, him and his odd manner.”

2.3. Onomatopoeia

2.3.1. “Och”

2.3.2. “oy oy oy”

2.3.3. “Uck, uck” Sound made when falling

3. Plot

3.1. Conflict:

3.1.1. Throughout the whole book, the main theme and also the conflict is poverty. Other citizens in Limerick look down upon the McCourt family.

3.1.2. Losing family members

3.1.3. Drunk father

3.1.4. Frank wants to escape Limerick and move to America.

3.2. Rising action:

3.2.1. Frank starts to realize all the damage his father has done to the family.

3.3. Climax:

3.3.1. Frank talks to Pa Keating, and learns from him how he is most likely to remain in Limerick for the rest of his life if he does not choose to make his own decisions. When he is on his way to his exam to become a postman, he then decides to apply for another job, even though he gets shunned by the whole post office after getting the job.

3.4. Falling action:

3.4.1. Frank finally starts saving up enough money to leave for America. He gives a party and tells his mother goodbye, before leaving with new hope to start a life and help his family back in Ireland

4. Style and Structure

4.1. Dialogue is written without quotation marks, which makes it really hard to read/takes a long time to get used to.

4.2. How the dialougue in the book changes over time. With Frankie growing up, you can read how he changes in how he talks and the kinds of words he uses.

4.3. Memoir

4.4. Written in chronological order

5. Setting

5.1. From the early 1900's / Depression 1930's-1940's

5.2. The setting is described in a lot of detail, which makes the story authentic and believable.

5.3. Historical accuracy, even though there is no literal background information being fed to the reader, but mainly by details given in the story. It allows readers to very accurately interpret the set time period.

5.4. New York, America / Limerick, Ireland

6. Point of View

6.1. Consistent 1st Person Point of View, following Frank

6.2. Only in the beginning of the story does the story follow other people, as the relationship of his parents gets an introduction.

7. Themes, Symbols and Motifs

7.1. Themes

7.1.1. Poverty Malachy almost never had a job, which resulted in him consistently failing to provide for his family. Frank began to work for Mr. Hannon at the age of eleven so he could provide a little bit of money to his family and at sometimes, Angela had to beg in order to provide for her family. All the way until the end of the book, the McCourt family scrambles to save up money so they can move back to America but every day they suffered.

7.1.2. Family Through all the hardship, the McCourt family manages to stay together, if you do not count the passing of some of the children.

7.2. Symbols

7.2.1. Eggs As the McCourt family cannot afford eggs, and that is why Frank starts associating that with the luxurious life he dreams of, turning eggs into a symbol of wealth

7.2.2. Ashes The ashes that come from the burning sigarettes from Angela McCourt and also from the fireplace. It represents Angela her crumbling hope. It feels like these ashes are present throughout the entire book and that is perhaps why the book is called Angela's Ashes.

7.3. Motifs

7.3.1. The English Frank was raised with stories of how great Ireland used to be before the English came and ruined it all. The English were evil.

7.3.2. Guilt Frank has to learn how to let go of the guilty feelings he has and this will help him to move on.