irish-flag-640.jpgIn Angela’s Ashes the social conflict between the English and the Irish is evident. Ireland was a British Colony and did not gain its freedom for its neighboring island until 1916. From the beginning of his memoir Frank blames the English for the sorrows he endured as a child: “The English and the terrible things they did to us for eight hundred long years.” Frank’s father, Malachy, told his sons that during the nineteenth century the English closed the schools and denied the Irish people any form of education. Many of the drunken songs sung by Malachy are warring songs about the English. Frank is brought up to believe that the English have no morals and that the English are evil. Frank is taught that before the English came the Irish were thriving. Only the principal at Frank’s school, Mr. O’Halloran, eludes to the fact that both the Irish and the Englih commited terrible deeds during the battle. This causes Frank to question the hatred he has developed for the English. When Frank’s father is beating a mattress inorder to remove the fleas a passerby says that there were not fleas in Ireland before, the British brought the fleas to drive the Irish mad. The hatred for the English is underlying throughout the entire memoir of Frank McCourt.