Study Questions & Essay Topics
1. Why does Frank rarely blame his father for the suffering that his alcoholism inflicts upon the family? How does this lack of censure affect the moral tone of McCourt’s memoir?
2. What role do women play in McCourt’s memoir? Is it fair to describe their characterization as stereotypical?
3. What is Frank’s relationship to Catholicism, and does this relationship change as the memoir progresses?
Suggested Essay Topics
1. In what ways does McCourt use his infancy in New York to foreshadow his experiences in Limerick?
2. What role do Frank’s and his friends’ escapades play in establishing a sense of fun and vitality within the memoir?
3. What do you think McCourt’s primary motivation was for writing his memoir? To earn the sympathy of his readers? To teach them something? Explain.
4. Does Frank’s relationship with Ireland change during his childhood? If so, how does this affect his subsequent return to the United States?
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