What is Frank McCourt's purpose in writing Angela's Ashes?  

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Frank McCourt writes this memoir of his childhood and adolescence in Ireland in order to come to terms, after the death of his parents, with the past that formed him, and to write a darkly comic tale conveying what it was like to grow up in poverty in Limerick, Ireland, in the 1930s and early 1940s. What makes this memoir come alive is its comic tone, poised on a razor's edge between horror and laughter: you don't know whether to laugh or to cry as McCourt tells stories so terrible they might easily win a competition for worst childhood of all.

McCourt wants to show that poverty in Ireland was worse than poverty in the United States, and he says that his mother made a mistake in thinking the family would do better on the dole in Ireland than staying put in New York during the Depression. He recounts a story of a class system in which people like his schoolteachers, further up the class ladder, and priests, also more privileged, could often be callous as to the experience of poor children...

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