Winston Churchill famously said, "If you're going through hell, keep going." And even though Frank's environment might not be Dante's Inferno, it comes pretty close. But Frank never gives up. Not even when the fleas bite. Or when the Christian Brothers slam their door in his face. Or his dad abandons his family. Frank's tenacity is clear throughout the memoir as he manages to endure one awful situation after another and keeps his eyes on the prize of going to America. Many of the characters in the story have to find ways to deal with horrible circumstances—poverty, disease, filth, and the humiliation that goes along with them. Faith, friendship, and imagination all seem to help. The one character for whom nothing seems to work is Malachy Sr. He can't persevere—he caves in.
Questions About Perseverance
Where does Frank get the strength to continue fighting?
In Angela's Ashes how do men and women differ in how they overcome adversity? Is one better than the other at persevering?
Is perseverance the only reason why Frankie succeeds? What else contributes to Frankie's success?
What part does religion play in keeping people going through the challenges of poverty and loss? Does it help Frank?
Chew on This
Perseverance is a quality we're born with. You either have it or you don't.
Perseverance is a quality we attain by facing adversity. Bring it on.