How is reflection important in Angela's Ashes?

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charcunning eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Everyone knows that hindsight is 20/20--it's always easier to look back on the past and to see everything much more clearly through a new lens.

Frank McCourt's childhood was one of poverty, hunger, deprivation and disease--it's easy for people to stay down once they are put in this situation, but McCourt chose otherwise. This book is his reflection on his choices and influences that led to his getting his education, out of Ireland and out of the slums.

Also, with family circumstances such as he endured, one can imagine that it would be very easy to be angry and rage-filled and very unforgiving. Reflection oftentimes allows people the opportunity to go back and unearth other peoples' motivations, which, of course, influnenced their actions, which in turn influenced yours. This reflection process allows for forgiveness and release of any anger, animosity, guilt or hatred and allows the spirit and mind to be at rest.

The act of reflecting on the past in this book gives a clear understanding and perception of the growth and development of Frankie and his path to America.