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Do Now. What do you know about Ireland or the Irish people? With what stereotypes are they associated? What do you know of the country’s history or their feelings toward the English? Explain. Angela’s Ashes. Frank McCourt. Ireland.

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    1. Do Now • What do you know about Ireland or the Irish people? With what stereotypes are they associated? What do you know of the country’s history or their feelings toward the English? Explain.

    2. Angela’s Ashes Frank McCourt

    3. Ireland • Irish culture is unique and is a huge part of the novel’s plot. • Vocabulary • Songs • History • Refer to your handout on the history of Ireland and the Great Depression’s effects in Ireland.

    4. Ireland

    5. Frank McCourt • Angela’s Ashes follows Frank until he is 19 and leaves for America. • He was later drafted by the Army and spent time in Germany before returning to New York where he attended NYU and received his M.A. from Brooklyn College. • McCourt taught English at McKee High School and Stuyvesant High School in New York for almost 30 years before retiring and completing this memoir about his childhood.

    6. Frank McCourt • Angela’s Ashes was published in 1996 and won the Pulitzer Prize, the ABBY (American Booksellers Book of the Year) Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. • Angela’s Ashes was adapted into a film in 1999. • McCourt published ’Tis (1999) and Teacher Man (2005) about his life after returning to America. Both became bestsellers. • McCourt died in 2009.

    7. Themes • The role of death • A mother’s burden • The divisions among social classes • The constraint of the Catholic Church • Irish sentiment toward the English

    8. Warning • There is sensitive subject material in this novel. • The story follows Frank through puberty, adolescence, and into adulthood. • The plot contains realistic stories about what males and females go through during these times in their lives. • However, it is no worse or more shocking than what you have encountered in movies and television by this point in your lives. • When it becomes necessary to discuss the importance of these events and how they relate to Frank’s development, I am sure you will all handle the discussion with maturity.

    9. Classwork • Complete classwork worksheet.

    10. Homework • Read Chapter I, Pages 11-22, and answer the corresponding questions.

    11. Do Now • What are some of the hardships that immigrants to America face? Describe.

    12. Chapter I, Pages 11-22 • Frank recalls “Limerick gained a reputation for piety, but we knew it was only the rain” (12). What does this mean? • Why do you think Frank McCourt does not use quotation marks to show when other people are speaking? Is this style helpful in telling his tale? Explain. • How does Malachy and Angela’s wedding come about? Does Malachy wed Angela willingly? • What symbolic significance is there to Frank’s thought, “Malachy has dog blood and the dog has Malachy blood” (20)? • What story does Frank’s father tell him that Frank considers his own? Why does he make such a claim to this story?

    13. Classwork • Complete classwork worksheet.

    14. Homework • Read Chapter I, Pages 22-31, and answer the corresponding questions.

    15. Do Now • As a youngster, Frank is fascinated by heroes. What purpose does their example serve?

    16. Chapter I, Pages 22-31 • Frank McCourt inserts songs and poems throughout his memoir. Why do you think he does this, and how might it help him tell his story? • Describe Angela, and explain how she changes in the first chapter. Is she a good mother? Is she what you would consider strong?

    17. Classwork • Complete classwork worksheet.

    18. Homework • Read Chapter I, Pages 31-46, and answer the corresponding questions.

    19. Do Now • What can addiction do to a family? How does it make life difficult?

    20. Chapter I, Pages 31-46 • In his book Grapes of Wrath, author John Steinbeck states “If you’re in trouble or hurt or need – go to poor people. They’re the only ones that’ll help – the only ones.” How is this idea exemplified in the first chapter of the book? • Do you think Philomena and Delia’s assistance is very helpful at the end of the first chapter? Is returning to Ireland a good idea?

    21. Classwork • Complete classwork worksheet.

    22. Homework • Read Chapter II, Pages 47-58, and answer the corresponding questions.

    23. Do Now • What do you think would have made Frank’s family life easier? What could his father and mother have done to provide a better life for their family?

    24. Chapter II, Pages 47-58 • When the McCourts are walking through the Irish countryside, Frank’s father speaks sharply to the children for the first time ever, startling them. What might this change in Malachy’s behavior signal? To whom do the children turn, and why? • Where do the McCourts spend the night before they take the train to Limerick? Do you think something like this would happen today? Why or why not?

    25. Classwork • Complete classwork worksheet.

    26. Homework • Read Chapter II, Pages 58-68, and answer the corresponding questions.

    27. Do Now • Frank opens the book by saying that his family should have stayed in New York. Seeing how desperate things are in Ireland, what might have been different for the McCourts had they stayed in America?

    28. Chapter II, Pages 58-68 • What kind of living conditions do the McCourts find in Limerick? What in particular would you find most difficult about the situation? • What is a “souper”? What sort of connotation does this label have? Do you think it is a fair label? Why? • Many people in Limerick have trouble breathing and are constantly ill. Townspeople say they believe this is due to weak lungs, the dampness in the air, the River Shannon, and the ease with which consumptive diseases are spread. Do you think this is true, or are there other factors that might cause breathing and wellness issues?

    29. Classwork • Complete classwork worksheet.

    30. Homework • Read Chapter II, Pages 68-81, and answer the corresponding questions.

    31. Do Now • How do you think it must feel to want to have children and not be able to? Do you know anyone who has struggled with this problem? How did it affect him/her and his/her marriage? What are some modern solutions to this problem?

    32. Chapter II, Pages 68-81 • How do Grandma and Aunt Aggie treat the McCourt family? Which of the two do Frank and his siblings find more reliable? • What effect does Pa Keating have on the McCourt children and their father? • How are the McCourt children treated at school? What preconceived notions do the other children have about Americans?

    33. Classwork • Complete classwork worksheet.

    34. Homework • Read Chapter II, Pages 81-90, and answer the corresponding questions.

    35. Do Now • Throughout Angela's Ashes, Malachy's drinking goes from bad to worse and this deeply affects the family in a negative manner. Is Malachy's influence on his son purely negative, or does he make a positive impact as well?

    36. Chapter II, Pages 81-90 • Why is Frank upset with his father on Eugene’s funeral day? What is symbolic about what Malachy does with Eugene’s coffin? • How does Uncle Pat contrast with Malachy? What is he able to do, despite his shortcomings, that Malachy cannot?

    37. Classwork • Complete classwork worksheet.

    38. Homework • Read Chapter III, Pages 91-102, and answer the corresponding questions.

    39. Do Now • How has losing children affected Angela? How do you think losing a child affects a parent, and a family as a whole?

    40. Chapter III, Pages 91-102 • Why does Frank’s father have such difficulty finding work? What does he do on days he isn’t working? • What are the two worst things about the McCourts’ living situation on Barrack Hill? How does Malachy Sr. attempt to make the situation better? What else could he do that would help even more? • In what ways can Angela provide for the children that Malachy cannot? How is Malachy’s pride ironic?

    41. Classwork • Complete classwork worksheet.

    42. Homework • Read Chapter III, Pages 102-112, and answer the corresponding questions.

    43. Do Now • Discuss McCourt's experiences in school. Are you surprised to learn he became a teacher? How do you think his experiences influenced him?

    44. Chapter III, Pages 102-112 • What effect does the “Angel on the Seventh Step” have on Frank? • What naïve preconceptions does Frank have about adults and how adults see the world? • Why do Frank and Malachy, Jr. reject Malachy, Sr.’s offer of the penny? What does it show about Frank and Malachy’s feelings toward their father?

    45. Classwork • Complete classwork worksheet.

    46. Homework • Read Chapter IV, Pages 113-123, and answer the corresponding questions.

    47. Do Now • Frank spent the first four years of his life in the United States. How do his experiences in America affect Frank's years in Ireland?

    48. Chapter IV, Pages 113-123 • Consider Mikey Molloy’s predicament about being unable to take Communion. What does it say about the Catholic Church that he believes he is doomed to hell? How does this supposed damnation affect Mikey’s plans for his life? • Describe the relationship between student and teacher in Limerick, and point out the positive and negative aspects of this learning environment. Why doesn’t this environment exist today? • How does Frank show Paddy compassion on Page 121? What does this show about Frank?

    49. Classwork • Complete classwork worksheet.

    50. Homework • Read Chapter IV, Pages 123-131, and answer the corresponding questions.