Study Guide

Angela's Ashes Allusions

By Frank McCourt

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Historical References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)

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