Study Guide

Angela's Ashes Analysis

By Frank McCourt

  • Tone

    Humorous, Hopeful, Childlike

    You'd think a memoir that has to do with poverty, death, and starvation would be really depressing. But the thing is, it's not, at least not usually. So what is it about McCourt's tone that makes such a bleak topic palatable, even hilarious? We think it's partly to do with Frankie's age. You know that show, Kids Say the Darndest Things? Well, we think that Frank would give all those kids a run for their money. For example, when Frank wonders, "why anyone would give money for his father's head" since he's got "thinning hair" and "collapsing teeth" he's taking the phrase "give money for his head" literally, since he doesn't realize that having a ransom on one's head is a figurative way of saying that someone wants Malachy Sr. dead so badly they're willing to pay for it (1.10).

    Another great example:

    The master says it's a glorious thing to die for the Faith and Dad says it's a glorious thing to die for Ireland and I wonder if there's anyone in the world who would like us to live. (4.2)

    This happens a lot in the book; Frankie's childlike observations and misunderstandings provide some comic relief from a dismal situation, because the reader knows what's really going on even though the child doesn't. Much of the humor comes from this disconnect between the experience of the child vs. what's actually happening. This creates a constant ironic sense of humor.

    The childlike tone of much of the memoir comes from this same disconnect.

    I'm nine years old and I have a pal, Mickey Spellacy, whose relations are dropping one by one of the galloping consumption. I envy Mickey because every time someone dies in his family he gets a week off from school […].

    But this summer Mickey is worried. His sister, Brenda, is wasting away with the consumption and it's only August and if she dies before September he won't get his week off. (7.3-4)

    Frank agrees to help Mickey pray for his sister to make it until school starts because he promises to invite him to the wake, where there will be lots of food and sweets. This kind of limited perspective of the young permeates the book and gives it a kind of hopeful innocence even in situations like Mickey's family tragedy. The sweets at the wake—how's that for a perfect metaphor?

    The other thing about Angela's Ashes is that there's always a light at the end of the tunnel. Even if the situation is downright sad or despairing, McCourt finds a way to see the good in it, however slight it might be. Family connections are a protection against the McCourt's desperate life and provide many of the hopeful and upbeat moments:

    Soon we're all in bed and if there's an odd flea I don't mind because it's warm in the bed with the six of us and I love the glow of the fire the way it dances on the walls and ceiling […]. (2.239)

  • Genre

    Memoir; Coming-Of-Age

    A memoir and an autobiography have a lot in common, so what exactly sets them apart? For starters, a memoir's not based on facts and dates (yes, they're important but they don't have to be 100% accurate). What matters in a memoir is the author's own personal take on his or her life—his or her unique experiences. In this case, the memoir covers a particular time span, Frank's youth.

    It's also a coming-of-age story, about that time in your life between childhood and adulthood when you stop seeing and reacting to things as a child. In Frank's case, growing up is an escape. He's able to fend for himself, earn money, help his family, and realize his dream of going back to America. He's no longer at the mercy of his impoverished family and welfare agency bureaucrats. Frank had to come of age quicker than most.

  • What's Up With the Title?

    The ashes in the fireplace, the ashes that fall from Angela's endless cigarettes—they're all byproducts of Angela's sad and hopeless life. Ashes are lifeless, they're what's left over when the fire goes out. So the title seems a fitting description of what the book's about: Angela's constant struggle to survive and gritty life filled with loss and disappointment.

    We were about to get all deep and philosophical about how the title can also represent Frank being like the mythical phoenix who dies by fire over and over again and is reborn from the ashes each time. Then we heard Frank McCourt tell the New York Times that he'd originally intended to bring the events of the memoir up until the time of his mother's death, when he and his brothers returned to Limerick and scattered Angela's ashes. Instead, that episode became part of the sequel, titled 'Tis. Hmm. Maybe, among other things, Angela's Ashes just means Angela's ashes.

  • What's Up With the Ending?

    The memoir ends with Frank and a shipmate standing on the deck of the ship in his first night in America. He's just had a sexual romp with an American woman, with a priest standing outside the door. The shipmate asks him, in the last sentence of chapter 18, "Isn't this a great country altogether?" In the first and only sentence of chapter 19, Frank answers, "'Tis." Turns out 'Tis is the name of the sequel to Angela's Ashes, which means that Frank McCourt's memoir ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. So is this just an ingenious way to end a book, a way to entice the reader to buy the sequel? Many readers see "'Tis" as Frank's agreement that America is, actually, a great country altogether, that it sure beats Ireland in every way. After all, it's what he's been dreaming about for years, right?

    Well, a super-smart reviewer named James Rogers over at Etudes Irlandaises (your favorite magazine, we know; it means "Irish Studies, BTW) has some other ideas about it. He doesn't think this was Frank's emphatic statement about America at all. He thinks Frank has pretty mixed feelings about leaving for America. He points out that when the Irish use the word "'tis", it's often just a way to keep the conversation moving, like nodding, or saying "uh-huh." He looked at all the other times the word "'tis" was used in the book and concluded that most of the time the word appeared in "scenes that are freighted with remorse, with future disappointment, and with religious scruples."

    He also points out that Frank pauses before he answers—we have to wait for the next chapter to hear him say it. Not to mention that on his first night in America, he does something that he's thought all his life would doom him to hell. (Remember Theresa Carmody?) You can take the boy out of Ireland, but maybe you can't take the Irish out of the boy.

    So here's what "'Tis" means according to Mr. Rogers (no, not that one). Frank's cautiously hopeful, maybe a bit ambivalent about his return to America. His parents failed there; his sister died there. As an immigrant, will he find acceptance? Is this sexual freedom going to ruin him? Is he Irish or American? He's not sure. So Frank doesn't answer his shipmate's question with a "You can say that again, dude!" He waits a bit, thinks about it, and says "'Tis."

  • Setting

    New York and Limerick, Ireland

    New York, New York

    Malachy Sr. ended up in New York after being sneaked out of Ireland following some violent incident with the IRA that's only hinted at in the memoir. Angela's sent off to America because her family thought she was pretty useless and America had lots of room for useless women. Not exactly the Frank Sinatra version of moving to New York. When he gets older, Frank sees America as the land of opportunity. That sure isn't his family's experience, though. They live in poverty in Brooklyn, in a diverse neighborhood of Irish, Jews, and Italians. It has its share of bars, where Malachy Sr. spends plenty of time drinking up his wages and lamenting that he's not in Ireland. It also has its share of helpful neighbors, who see the dire circumstances the family's in and reach out to help. Even after Frank steals from the Italian grocer:

    Oh, God, it's the Italian. Hey, sonny, come 'ere. {…] You the kid wid the little bruddahs, right? Twins?

    Yes sir.

    Heah, gotta bag o' fruit. I don' give it to you I trow id out, right? So heah, take the bag. Ya got apples, oranges bananas. (1.176-180)

    Neighbors Mrs. MacAdorey and Mrs. Liebowitz also come to the rescue with clean diapers and chicken soup after the death of baby Margaret. They see Malachy Sr. disappearing into the pubs and the boys running wild, and they contact the family's cousins to let them know how bad things are. The cousins don't want the responsibility, and decide the family would be better off back in Ireland among their relatives. Frank's too little to understand why they're leaving, but he later reflects that this sure was a huge mistake.

    Limerick

    Frank's memoir begins where it ends: America. But most of the story takes place in Limerick, Angela's hometown. Limerick plays such a large part in his memoir that it's almost like another character in the story. Since the story takes place between the 1930s and 1950s we're dealing with the aftermath of The Troubles, the beginnings of World War II, and the Great Depression. Frank's Limerick is a poor, rainy, damp, depressed working class town with its share of slums filled with poverty and disease. Some of his description of public lavatories and outhouses makes it seem almost like a third-world country. And did we mention the rain?

    Above all, we were wet.

    The rain dampened the city from the Feast of the Circumcision to New Year's Eve. It created a cacophony of hacking coughs, bronchial rattles, asthmatic wheezes, consumptive croaks.

    From October to April the clothes never dried: tweed and woolen coats housed living things, sometimes sprouted mysterious vegetations[…]

    The rain drove us into our church—our refuge, our strength, our only dry place. […]Limerick gained a reputation for piety, but we knew it was only the rain. (1.4-7)

    Frank's Limerick has narrow alleys with rickety houses, the Labour Exchange that hands out relief money, the St. Vincent DePaul charity, plenty of churches and even more pubs. It's a staunchly Catholic town. It's filled with unemployed men, large families struggling to put food on the table, and boys playing in the street in ragged clothes using pig bladders for soccer balls. The schools and Catholic Church provide structure for the community, but just like in Brooklyn, there's a network of kind neighbors and shopkeepers that look out for the McCourts and fill in the gaps left by the formal charities. Limerick's poor seem united in their distrust of the government, the English, and the Protestants (also the English). Even the Catholic Church is seen by Limerick's poor as oblivious to what they really need.

    Lots of Limerick residents were pretty angry about how their city was portrayed in McCourt's memoir. Fortunately, they've managed to get out the word about how the city looks today. Check out the Angela's Ashes reality tour.

  • Tough-o-Meter

    (4) Tree Line

    The (not so) bad: The book is chock full of Irish colloquialisms, like "eejit" and "blaguard". It also takes place in a time and culture very different to ours, which makes some of the allusions and references hard to understand. 

    The good: Luckily, if you're armed with a bit of historical context (and you are: for historical context, check out "Setting and Theme: Patriotism") and an Irish phrasebook you'll be able to read the book without a hiccup. The book also has a long list of characters, which can be confusing at times, but it's nothing that a pen and a notepad (and our "Characters" section) can't solve. The language is generally really accessible except for the Irishisms, and the story's so engaging that we happily put up with the unfamiliar stuff.

  • Writing Style

    Colloquial, Irish, Candid

    Frank McCourt is, well, frank. When we read Angela's Ashes, we can't help but feel like we're listening to an old friend telling us about his really interesting, albeit sad, childhood. The writing is truthful, funny, and inviting. Much of that has to do with McCourt's maintaining the child's perspective through much of the book. Children aren't as skilled in evasion as we are, and since he's adopted the child's perspective, he's naïve and honest. His colloquial writing style (language that's colloquial is familiar and everyday) makes the book engaging and personal. In other words, it sounds conversational. Take for example when McCourt describes the Clohessy house:

    Paddy says, Mind yourself, because some of the steps are missing and there is s*** on the ones that are still there. He says that's because there's only one privy and it's in the backyard and children don't get down the stairs in time to put their little arses on the bowl, God help us. (6.141)

    This is just how a kid might talk. Plus, did you notice what's missing in the dialogue? Quotation marks. So why does Frank McCourt decide not to use quotation marks to introduce dialogue? What would change if we rewrote Angela's Ashes using quotation marks, formal language, and more punctuation? Let's find out:

    Paddy says, "Mind yourself, Frank. Some of the steps are missing and there is s*** on the ones that are still there."
    He then says, "The reason that there is s*** on the stairs is because there's only one toilet, and it's in the backyard. Unfortunately, the children don't get down the stairs in time to use the toilet. As a result, they have accidents on the stairs."
    Paddy sighs, "God help us."

    Totally different style, don't you think? The dialogue we manipulated is stilted, formal, and unnatural. It doesn't sound like Frank, it doesn't sound Irish, and it's not direct. Frank doesn't beat around the bush, he's direct and to the point. Just look at the first line of the memoir:

    My father and mother should have stayed in New York where they met and married and where I was born. (1.1)

    Bang. Frank gets right to the point. And that gives his writing lots of oomph.

  • Ashes

    Frank McCourt basically tells us that ashes are an important symbol when he decides to include the word in the title of his memoir. Ashes come to symbolize many things here.

    No Smoking, Please

    Even though smoking is ruining Angela's health, it's the only pleasurable activity in her bleak life.

    And [Angela and Bridey] laugh and drink their tea and smoke their Woodbines and tell one another the fag is the only comfort they have. (5.103)

    And what's left after Angela smokes her cigarettes? Ashes. Residue. Garbage.

    There's nothing like coming home to a warm fire after a cold long strenuous day. It's revitalizing, comforting, and warming. In fact, did you know that in many cultures, like Ancient Rome, the hearth represented the soul of homes and even civilizations? As long as the fire was burning it meant that the vital life force of the home and the city was strong (source). There was even a really important Roman goddess named Vesta, who was goddess and protector of the hearth. But, unlike Vesta, who provides for her Roman family with her warming and life-producing fire, Angela's unable to take care of her children. They're constantly hungry and cold. In other words, the fire in the McCourt household is out and all that's left behind are "dead ashes" (9.60). The ashes in Angela's Ashes are a reminder of what's missing in the McCourt household: life, warmth, food, prosperity, and health. It's why we always find Angela "star[ing] into the dead ashes in the fireplace" (13.11). Ashes are the ultimate symbol of emptiness and hopelessness.

  • The Weather

    Weather—it's uncontrollable, unforgivable, and unstoppable. It seems like it's always raining in Ireland "from the Feast of the Circumcision to New Year's Eve" which
    largely describes the setting of the memoir: soggy, miserable, depressing (1.5). After all, it's kinda hard to imagine Angela's Ashes in sunny Miami, Florida. It just wouldn't work. Frank even writes a comical essay about the weather in Limerick titled, "Jesus and the Weather" where he says that Jesus himself would have a hard time living in Limerick:

    I don't think Jesus Who is Our Lord would have liked the weather in Limerick because it's always raining and the Shannon keeps the whole city damp. (8.145)

    Twelve year-old Frank might have a point here. Even someone like Jesus, who's used to suffering, would find the wet weather exhausting. So what exactly does the weather represent? We'd say relentless, uncontrollable suffering. Just one more burden on the poor people of the Limerick slums.

  • Food

    In Angela's Ashes a meal isn't just a meal, it's the stuff dreams are made of. Hunger—serious, aching hunger—is a constant companion throughout the memoir. Many meals in the McCourt home consist of tea and fried bread. Frank spends a lot of his memoir describing food:

    Did you hear that? Our own egg of a Sunday morning. Oh, God, I already had plans for my egg. Tap it around the top, gently crack the shell, lift with a spoon, a dab of butter down into the yolk, salt, take my time, a dip of the spoon, scoop, more salt, more butter, into mouth, oh, God above, if heaven has a taste it must be an egg with butter and salt, and after the egg is there anything in the world lovelier than fresh warm bread and a mug of sweet golden tea. (9.28)

    When you're hungry, food is all you think about.

    You don't know what to do with yourself when the first telegram doesn't come. You can't stay out in the lane playing with your brothers all night because everyone else is gone in and you'd be ashamed to stay out in the lane to be tormented with the smell of sausages and rashers and fried bread. (9.63)

    Malnutrition helped kill three of Angela's children, who lived on a lot of sugar water as infants. Frank resorts to stealing food on a few occasions when things are particularly bad at home. And during the times he's at a neighbor's or relative's having a real meal, you can almost feel the comfort and satisfaction of his full belly.

    Frank isn't the only one who has to deal with a lack of food. Food's scarce in many households in Limerick and it's not a new problem. Food scarcity in Ireland goes back a long time; in fact, one of the deadly famines in history occurred during the 19th century when a blight killed the potato crop and the resulting famine killed 750,000 Irish. More than two million people emigrated from Ireland to other countries to avoid starvation.

    When Frankie thinks about getting a job, he doesn't think about buying fancy clothes or concert tickets. He wants to bring home the bacon, literally.

  • The River Shannon

    Malachy Sr. describes the River Shannon as the scourge that plagues the lives of all those who live in Limerick. He even blames it for taking away his twin sons and calls it a "killer river," but the River Shannon also provides water and according to Angela "the Shannon sings" (8.145; 2.211). Like the weather, the River's an uncontrollable force of nature that doesn't abide by anyone's rules. It gives life by watering the fields and providing drinking water to the town, but it also takes life by overflowing with rainwater and causing sickness as a result.

  • Narrator Point of View

    First Person / Central Narrator

    As a memoir, the narrative is of course written in the first-person. Thanks to this point of view, we're drawn in and get to see everything through McCourt's eyes (or rather the eyes of young Frankie). This is Frank's story as he remembers it. As a result, it's important to remember that Frank isn't aiming for veracity here. He's just trying to tell us what he remembers and as anyone who's retold a story knows, memories are tinged with emotions and those emotions change and affect the way we remember things. It doesn't mean it isn't true, it just means it's Frank's truth. (For more on this, see "Genre.")

    Part of the genius of the memoir is that grown-up Frank who's writing the memoir manages to keep the perspective of the child experiencing the events he's writing about. Frankie sees and hears things he doesn't understand, and the grownup writer doesn't explain them; he just relates them as a child would experience them. As Frank gets older in the book, we get the perspective and understanding of an older and wiser child.

  • Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

    Memoirs are a little tougher to Bookerize than novels because the events are driven by (mostly) real events rather than the writer's construction of a story from scratch. Still, we nominate "Rags to Riches" as the closest to McCourt's structure, although "Voyage and Return" was in the running. As readers, we probably know that McCourt eventually achieved success and riches, even though they're only dreamed about in this first memoir.

    Initial Wretchedness and the Call

    Our story begins at the end since we know that our protagonist also happens to be the author of the memoir. He looks backs on his life in amazement and wonderment—surprised that he was able to accomplish his dream. Frank's narration moves us away from the sunny land of opportunity (America) into the dark and gloomy land of damp Limerick, where the McCourts spend most days wet, cold, and hungry.

    Out Into the World, Initial Success

    Frank, the eldest child of Angela and Malachy Sr., grows up quickly and has to fill the shoes of his alcoholic good-for-nothing father. From a very young age, Frank has to help his mother and quickly learns to survive in a dog-eat-dog world by working odd jobs here and there, begging for food at shops, and picking up coal scraps to keep the house warm. His tenacious and resourceful spirit is obvious from the very start.

    The Central Crisis

    Malachy Sr. has disappeared and the McCourts are so poor that they have to use their interior walls as fuel for the fire. Unfortunately, the landlord finds out and they're evicted from their home. Their only option is to move in with their mother's alcoholic and abusive cousin. To top it off, Frank is denied entrance into the secondary school and the post office won't take him on as a messenger boy because he's too young. Frank is penniless, jobless, and futureless. 

    Independence and the Final Ordeal

    Frank's tired of the living situation in Laman's home. One night, Laman comes home in a drunken stupor and they exchange blows. Frank is afraid he might not be able to contain his rage the next time it happens and decides it's best to move in with his Uncle Pa. Eventually, Frank gets a job delivering telegrams and writing collection letters. He works his tush off to feed his family and saves what he can for his journey to America.

    Final Union, Completion, and Fulfillment

    Frank finally saves enough money and is on his way to America. Once in America, he gazes at the bright lights on shore and contemplates his future.

  • Plot Analysis

    Exposition (Initial Situation)

    Goodbye America, Hello Ireland

    It all begins where it ends: America. At the beginning of the book, Frank and the McCourt clan are leaving the glistening shores of America after a failed life there and heading back to Ireland, the home country of Frank's parents. We know from the first sentence that returning is a big mistake, but due to Baby Margaret's death both parents are neglecting their surviving children and need all the support they can get from their family back in Ireland.

    Rising Action (Conflict, Complication)

    When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going

    In Ireland, the McCourts endure all types of suffering: extreme hunger, biting cold and relentless damp, fleas, prejudice, and a foul-smelling apartment. Malachy Sr. drinks away the little money he gets from public assistance and Angela miscarries one child and gives birth to two more boys. Our protagonist, Frank, tries his best to make money and help the family, but because of illness is forced to quit his job. He's also not allowed to continue studying because the upper echelons of society run the secondary school and they don't want poor boys from the slums, no matter how smart. Malachy Sr. leaves for England, (not before another baby arrives) and Angela's left on her own to raise the kids and keep them all from starving.

    Climax (Crisis, Turning Point)

    How Could Ya, Ma?

    The McCourts' situation worsens when they are kicked out of their home for using the walls as fuel for the fire. Penniless and homeless, the McCourts have their hands tied and have no other alternative but to move in with Angela's alcoholic and abusive cousin, Laman Griffin. Laman's mean to all the boys, treats them like slaves, and to top it off, sleeps with Angela. Frank ends up getting into a fight with Laman and moves out of his house for good.

    Falling Action

    He Works Hard For the Money So You Better Treat Him Right

    Frank's been working on and off since he was nine years old. He's now working two jobs and living with his Uncle Pa. He's just about saved enough money to go to America. After a few months, the rest of the McCourts move in with Uncle Pa and both Malachy Jr. and Angela have jobs. The family finally has enough to eat and a measure of self-respect.

    Resolution (Denouement)

    I Like to Be in A-mer-i-ca

    After a bittersweet going-away party, Frank's on his way to America. Turns out, Frank isn't even off the ship and America's already knocking on his door. While the ship's docked in Poughkeepsie, Frank is invited to a party where he meets a woman who likes his Irishness so much she sleeps with him. After the party, Frank gazes at the lights in the city and thinks about all that lies in store for him.

  • Three-Act Plot Analysis

    Act I

    In the McCourts' world, when it rains, it pours. The move from America to Ireland is a catastrophic mistake. Ireland is cold, wet, and squalid. Daddy McCourt is an alcoholic who drinks away all the money and disappears for days on end. Angela McCourt's unable to provide for the children and they spend most of their life hungry, cold, and dressed in rags. Frank's a good schoolboy, up to the usual boy's antics, except always feeling the pressure to help his family and take care of his hungry little brothers.

    Act II

    Malachy Sr. leaves for wartime work in England and is supposed to send money from his job. Instead, he's all but disappeared. The family has to resort to burning the wood from the walls to keep from freezing, and Angela has to beg for help from local charities. Without the means to pay the rent, the McCourts are evicted from their home. They have no choice but to move in with Laman Griffin, Angela's alcoholic and abusive cousin. Eventually, Frank and Laman go at it, and Frank moves out.

    Act III

    As Frank gets older and is able to help financially, the McCourts get back together living under one roof. Malachy Jr. and Angela have jobs also and are able to afford a better life. Frank finds a steady job due to his smarts and tenacity and is able to buy the long-awaited ticket back to America. The memoir ends with Frank's boat docked on the shores of America where he hopes a better life awaits him.

  • Allusions

    Literary and Philosophical References

    • William Shakespeare, Henry VIII, Act 2 Scene 4 (8.88, 8.126)
    • Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal (7.62, 7.65, 7.76)
    • William Shakespeare (8.90, 8.91, 12.62, 12.74)
    • Alfred Noyes, "The Highwayman" (8.90, 8.111, 8.112)
    • E. Phillips Oppenheim, The Amazing Quest of Mr. Ernest Bliss (8.114-115)
    • P.G. Wodehouse (8.117, 8.129)
    • John Mitchel, Jail Journal (8.129)
    • Shaemas O'Sheel (8.157)
    • Edward Lear, "The Owl and the Pussycat" (9.121-122)
    • Seán O'Casey (12.61)
    • George Bernard Shaw (12.61)
    • Henrik Ibsen (12.61)
    • Butler's Lives of the Saints (13.13, 13.18)
    • Oliver Goldsmith, "The Deserted Village" (13.23-24)

    Historical References

    Irish heroes:

    • Cuchulain (1.90, 1.268, 7.171) Irish folk legend
    • The Red Branch Knights (1.111) Legendary Irish warriors
    • The Fenian Men (1.111) Irish nationalists in the US with a revolutionary state of mind
    • The IRA (1.111, 2.42)
    • Eamon de Valera (2.332, 3.52, 7.171, 8.163, 10.65) Hero in Ireland's fight for independence from Britain
    • Michael Collins (2.332) Revolutionary leader killed in the Irish Civil War
    • Padraig Pearse (7.1) Irish poet executed for his part in the Easter Rebellion against the British
    • Roddy McCorley (1.151; 1.262, 2.290, 3.24, 3.143, 10.10) Hero of the 1798 Irish rebellion
    • Kevin Barry (1.252, 2.290, 3.24, 3.143, 10.10) Irish rebel executed by the British

    British Monarchs:

    • Queen Victoria (3.6, 8.88, 12.114)
    • King Alfred (8.88) British king of the ninth century
    • William the Conqueror (8.88)
    • Prince Edward (8.88, 12.114) Son of Queen Victoria who later becomes King
    • Henry the VIII (8.89)
    • Catherine of Aragon (8.89) Wife of Henry VIII
    • President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1.271, 7.171, 8.163, 10.65)
    • The Great Depression (1.271)
    • The Troubles (2.57)
    • St. Patrick (2.116)
    • Al Capone (2.325)
    • Oliver Cromwell (2.335, 10.69)
    • Pope Leo the Thirteenth (3.11)
    • Adolf Hitler (3.125, 8.163, 10.65)
    • Benito Mussolini (3.125, 8.163)
    • Euclid (5.1)
    • Cardinal Wolsey (8.89)
    • Francisco Franco (8.163)
    • Robin Hood (10.10, 18.5)
    • Winston Churchill (10. 65)
    • General Custer (15.47)

    Pop Culture References

    Movie Stars:

    • Bing Crosby (1.107)
    • James Cagney (3.137, 4.17-18, 4.75, 4.170, 4.176)
    • Charlie Chaplin (4.18)
    • Fred Astaire (5.73)
    • Ginger Rogers (5.73)
    • Charles Laughton (8.5)
    • Boris Karloff (11.123)
    • Jean Harlow (12.113)
    • Tarzan (15.47)
    • Mickey Rooney (15.99)
    • Duke Ellington (12.70)
    • Billie Holiday (12.70)
    • Herman Goering (17.13)

    Songs

    • Who Threw the Overalls in Mrs. Murphy's Chowder? (1.14)
    • A Mother's Love's a Blessing (1.23, 18.25)
    • Louise (1.101)
    • Two Sweethearts (1.104)
    • Ireland Boys Hurrah (1.110)
    • The Leprechaun (1.158)
    • The Boys of Wexford (2.137)
    • The West's Asleep (2.300, 3.145)
    • The Road to Rasheen (2.347, 2.369)
    • Christmas is Coming (3.17)
    • The Kerry Dance (6.208)
    • The Green Glens of Antrim (7.170)