I’m on deck the dawn we sail into New York. I’m sure I’m in a film, that it will end and lights will come up in the Lyric Cinema. . . . Rich Americans in top hats white ties and tails must be going home to bed with the gorgeous women with white teeth. The rest are going to work in warm comfortable offices and no one has a care in the world.

Frank’s arrival in America at the conclusion of Angela’s Ashes is presented as a dream sequence. The narrator’s surreal perceptions of American life—men dressed in top hats and accompanied by beautiful women—are more poignant than ridiculous, for they show how Frank has come to idealize the country of his birth. We assume that Frank’s vision will be tainted once he gets off the boat, but a few pages later, he actually does go home to bed with a gorgeous woman, and we begin to have hope that his life in America will be more successful than even he ever dreamed.