Constructing Dialogues, (Re)Constructing the Past: ‘Remembered’ Conversations in Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes

  • Jarmila Mildorf University of Paderborn
Keywords: Narratology, Pragmatics, Stylistics


This article explores the uses and functions of dialogue in Frank McCourt’s memoir Angela’s Ashes. Taking conversational dialogue and fictional dialogue as points of comparison, the article argues that dialogue in autobiographical writing is essentially constructed, albeit not in the same way as fictional dialogue is. Dialogue as a means of dramatisation raises questions regarding factuality and fictionality. In McCourt’s memoir, dialogue is shown to serve numerous functions: characterisation and stereotyping; selfpositioning and indirect stance-marking; the creation of verisimilitude, humour and reader involvement.