Study Guide

Minor Characters—Family in Angela's Ashes

By Frank McCourt

Minor Characters—Family

Laman Griffin

Angela's sleazy cousin Laman takes advantage of Angela and the boys while they live with him. He usually comes home drunk after work and forces Angela to clean up after him and empty his chamberpot. It seems that he forces her into a sexual relationship as "payment" for her family living with him. Nice.

Pa Keating

Pa Keating couldn't give a "fiddler's fart" about most things but he's always kind to the McCourts. He buys Frank his first pint and encourages him to chase his dream of going to America.

The MacNamara Sisters

With relatives like these who needs enemies? Delia and Philomena are Angela's cousins who live in New York. They do nothing but encourage Angela to make certain decisions, not because they care about her, but because they're afraid of what people might think of Angela's life choices. After they learn that Angela's pregnant, they hunt down Malachy Sr. and force him to marry her. They offer Angela no support after her baby daughter suddenly dies. Instead, they just ship her back to Ireland. Outta sight, outta mind. Thanks for the help, cousins.

Alphonsus Joseph aka Alphie McCourt

The baby of the family and Angela's last child.

Malachy McCourt Jr.

Malachy Jr. is Frank's younger brother. Unlike Frank, he's easy on the eyes, very charming, and has a way with people. Malachy Jr. and Frank often work together to find ways to provide for the family and even though we see less and less of Malachy Jr. as the story progresses we know the brothers remained close.

Margaret McCourt

After wishing day and night for a baby girl, Angela gives birth to Baby Margaret, but she doesn't live long. After seven weeks, Margaret suddenly dies. Her death devastates Angela and Malachy Sr. and instigates the move back to Ireland.

Michael McCourt

Frank's like a father figure to little Michael. After Michael moves out of Laman's house, he spends practically all his free time at Frank's and Uncle Pat's and is part of the reason why Angela moves in with Frank. Michael is a sensitive, soft-hearted child who's always bringing home stray dogs and people.

The Twins: Oliver and Eugene McCourt

Frank's younger twin brothers die of pneumonia within six months of one another. Eugene is inconsolable after Oliver's death and Frank tries his best to take care of him.

Grandpa and Grandma McCourt

Grandpa and Grandma McCourt don't want anything to do with Malachy Sr.'s family. The only help they give them is money for the bus fare to Dublin.

Agnes (Aggie) Sheehan

Aunt Aggie is a tough broad. She's really mean to her nephews, especially Frank, and thinks it's unfair that she was never able to have children while Angela has a whole brood and can't take care of them. But she isn't all bad; she helps her sister and nephews when Angela gets sick and even goes into debt when she buys Frank a new outfit for work.

Grandma Margaret Sheehan

Considering Grandma Sheehan had a deadbeat for a husband, you'd think she'd be easier on Angela. After all, her husband is the reason why Uncle Pat is the way he is. We think she could be nicer to her family (how about letting the McCourts move in with you for a while, Grandma?), but in the end she does pull through and help her daughter and grand kids when they're in dire straits.

Uncle Pat Sheehan aka The Abbot

Poor Pat was dropped on his head when he was only one, and he's never been the same since. Even though he's never learned how to read and write, he's really good at counting cash. In fact, he's quite the entrepreneur. He started selling newspapers when he was eight. Even though he has trouble sharing his money and food, he's kind enough to let Frank move in when he has nowhere else to turn.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...