What does Mr. McCourt try to get Francis to do as a job in Angela's Ashes?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mr. McCourt wants Francis to study hard and go back to America and get a desk job there.  He says that Frank

"should be good in school and some day (he'll) go back to America and get an inside job where (he'll) be sitting at a desk with two fountain pens in (his) pocket, one red and one blue, making decisions.  (Frankie'll) be in out of the rain and (he'll) have a suit and shoes and a warm place to live and what more could a man want?"

Mr. McCourt thinks of America as being a "land of opportunity" where one "can be a fisherman in Maine or a farmer in California".  The longer he is away from it, the more America glistens in his mind as a place of endless possibilities, in start contrast with Limerick, where the only jobs available involve menial labor, and the city is "a gray place with a river that kills".  Although it is true that in that time many Irishmen looked to America for a chance to make a better life for themselves and their families, it is a bit ironic that Mr. McCourt appears to forget that in America too, life is difficult and there is poverty, a poverty that he himself was unable to rise above when he was there last (Chapter 8).

 

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Angela's Ashes

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