Study Guide

Angela's Ashes Education

By Frank McCourt


Frank's hungry for knowledge. Throughout the memoir, Frank is reading, writing, and learning. His parents instill in Frank a strong belief in the power of knowledge, and his teacher Mr. O'Halloran reminds him that knowledge is the only thing that no one can take away from you. We think that Frank took those lessons to heart; he became a teacher in New York and wrote all about it in his third memoir, Teacher Man.Ā  Lots of people in Frank's life give him the message that education's the way to get out of Limerick and poverty.

Questions About Education

  1. Why do you think the Christian Brothers denied Frank an education? What's the harm in teaching a boy from the lanes?
  2. How does Frank's memoir resemble Malachy Sr.'s storytelling?
  3. Why are many of the teachers at Leamy's National School scared of answering questions?
  4. What does Mr. O'Halloran mean when he says that a "mind is a house of treasure"?

Chew on This

The kind of education that matters in Angela's Ashes is "street smarts" not "book smarts."

Not giving the poor kids a secondary education ensures that the poor stay poor and the rich stay rich.

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