Angela's Ashes Short Essay - Answer Key

Frank McCourt
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1. Describe the circumstances that lead the McCourt family back to Ireland in Chapter 1.

The McCourt family leaves America to return to Ireland after Margaret's death. Angela falls into a deep depression when her daughter dies, and her aunts write to her mother in Ireland, asking her to assist them in helping the McCourts move back there.

2. Chapter 1 begins the pattern of Malachy losing his jobs. To what extent do you believe he is responsible for this pattern? Is he a victim of fate, or do his actions cause these negative consequences?

Malachy's actions are directly to blame for this family's financial difficulties. Malachy has trouble keeping a job because of his alcoholism. It is obvious that he would rather spend time at the pub than working, and he is late to work because he becomes so drunk the night before. Even when he blames Angela for speaking to his employer about his wages, it is still clear that the fault lies with Malachy. If Malachy could control his drinking, he might be able to hold down a job.

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