Angela's Ashes Setting & Symbolism

Frank McCourt
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Limerick

Limerick is the cold wet city in Ireland where Frank spent his formative years.

The River Shannon

Frank and others, including Malachy, associate the River Shannon, the central waterway in Limerick, with the cold and wet that plague his family and others living in poverty. The McCourts’ home is frequently flooded by the rains in Limerick, and they must move all their belongings to their upstairs room, which they call “Italy.” They call the downstairs room “Ireland.” At the end of the book, the River Shannon symbolizes Frank’s escape from Ireland by ship, and he throws Mrs. Finucane’s ledger of debts into the river to free his neighbors from what they once owed the woman.

Leamy’s National School

The school Frank and his brothers attended in Limerick.

Ashes

The ashes in the book’s title are referenced frequently, when the downtrodden Angela smokes Woodbine...

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This section contains 258 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Angela's Ashes Study Guide
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