In Angela's Ashes, do you think Frank benefited in any way from his experiences in the Fever Hospital?

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jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Frank was in the Fever Hospital suffering with typhoid, he began to love poetry. Patricia Madigan, the girl next to him who was suffering from diphtheria, read him a poem about a highwayman (which is "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes, but Frank doesn't know the title). Each day, he looks forward to hearing a few more verses of the poem, but then Patricia is moved away from his bed. When she's up visiting the lavatory, she dies suddenly. Frank is left wondering what happened to the highwayman, and Seamus, the orderly, can't tell him until he asks someone in the pub (and then Seamus recites the verses for Frank). This episode leaves Frank with a hunger to know more about literature. He keeps reading so he can tell Seamus about what he's reading, and when Frank returns to school, it is clear that he has become a proficient and entertaining writer. When he's put in a class of younger kids because he missed so much school, Frank writes a wonderful composition about "Jesus and the Weather" and is moved up to his right class, sixth, because he writes so well.

lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In this chapter, Frank comes down with typhoid fever and must be hospitalized. While he is in the hospital, he learns two important things. First of all, his father comes to visit him and kisses him on the forehead. This is the first time in his life that his father has kissed him, that he can remember. He realizes that his father, in spite of his many faults, loves him.

Frank is also introduced to literature in the hospital, so this is a huge benefit for him. A fellow patient, a girl named Patricia, introduces Frank to books. She lends him a history book and in the book, he comes upon something writte by Shakespeare. Frank becomes enthralled and from that moment on, he is hooked on books.

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Angela's Ashes

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